All Posts in Category: Life Stages

What is the link between hormones and women's oral health

What is the link between hormones and women’s oral health?

Maintaining good oral health is important for everyone, but for women, the link between hormones and oral health can be especially significant. Hormonal fluctuations throughout a woman’s life can affect the health of her gums and teeth, making her more susceptible to certain oral health issues. From puberty to menopause, hormonal changes can impact blood flow to the gums, sensitivity, and susceptibility to inflammation and infection. In this blog post, we’ll explore the link between hormones and women’s oral health, and provide tips for maintaining good oral hygiene and managing any oral health issues that may arise.

What are causes and symptoms of hormonal changes that may affect oral health in women?

There are several causes of hormonal changes that can affect oral health in women, including:

  1. Puberty: During puberty, the body goes through significant hormonal changes, which can increase blood flow to the gums and make them more sensitive and prone to inflammation and infection.
  2. Menstrual cycle: Fluctuations in hormones during the menstrual cycle can lead to swollen and bleeding gums, canker sores, and dry mouth.
  3. Pregnancy: During pregnancy, a woman’s body produces higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, which can increase blood flow to the gums and make them more susceptible to swelling, bleeding, and inflammation. This can lead to a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis.
  4. Menopause: As women approach menopause, their bodies produce less estrogen, which can lead to dry mouth, bone loss in the jaw, and an increased risk of gum disease and tooth loss.
  5. TMJ: Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a condition that affects the joints and muscles of the jaw. While the exact cause of TMJ is not fully understood, there is treatment for TMJ and evidence to suggest that hormones may play a role in its development and severity. Studies have shown that hormonal changes, particularly those related to estrogen, can impact the muscles and ligaments around the temporomandibular joint. Fluctuations in estrogen levels during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause can all contribute to the development or worsening of TMJ symptoms. During these hormonal changes, women may experience increased sensitivity to pain and inflammation, which can exacerbate TMJ symptoms. In addition, stress, which is often associated with hormonal changes, can also contribute to TMJ symptoms by causing jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

The symptoms of hormonal changes that can affect oral health in women may include:

  1. Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums
  2. Sensitive teeth or gums
  3. Dry mouth or altered taste
  4. Canker sores or mouth ulcers
  5. Burning sensation in the mouth
  6. Changes in the shape or size of the gums
  7. Bone loss in the jaw

What can I do to prevent the development of oral health problems related to hormonal issues?

There are several things you can do to help prevent the development of oral health problems related to hormonal changes:

  1. Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to help remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth.
  2. Eat a healthy diet: Eat a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin D, to help keep your teeth and bones strong.
  3. Manage stress: Stress can affect your immune system and make you more susceptible to oral health problems. Practice stress-reducing activities, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
  4. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist and prevent dry mouth.
  5. Visit your dentist regularly: Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings to help identify and address any oral health issues before they become more serious.
  6. Consider hormone replacement therapy: If you are experiencing severe symptoms related to hormonal changes, talk to your healthcare provider about hormone replacement therapy, which may help to alleviate symptoms and protect your oral health.

By taking these steps, you can help to maintain good oral health and prevent the development of oral health problems related to hormonal changes.

Read More
oral health toddlers dentist port washington ny

When to Take Your Toddler to the Dentist?

Determining when to take your child to the dentist can be confusing. You may have heard that you should wait until all of their teeth have come in, or that you should take them only if they have a problem. If you wait until either of these happen, then you’ll be taking your child in too late.

So, when do you take your toddler to the dentist? It is recommended that you take them in as soon as their first tooth has erupted, or at least within six months of the tooth coming in. The sooner you get them in, the better.

Why Take Toddlers to the Dentist After Getting Their First Tooth?

It may seem like taking your toddler to a pediatric dentist after their first tooth erupts will be a waste of time. After all, it’s only one tooth. However, a lot of information can be learned at this point in time, and the dentist will be able to determine if the rest of your child’s teeth will come in the way they are supposed to.

The dentist can also give you important information on how to take care of that one tooth and all of the other teeth that will soon be growing in. This information will more than likely pertain to the following:

  • Developing proper mouth cleaning habits
  • Tooth decay and bottles
  • Best feeding practices for your growing child
  • The impacts of pacifiers
  • The impacts of sucking on fingers
  • What to expect during the teething process

Having all of this information beforehand can help reduce the chances of problems occurring in your child’s mouth. It will also make it easier to create and implement dental care routines to keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy.

Getting Your Child Ready for Their First Appointment

Some people get stressed when they know they have to go to the dentist. A lot of adults don’t like to make appointments, so imagine how scary it might be for your child. However, starting them early and before a problem arises will show them that dental visits aren’t always bad. In fact, going when they don’t have any issues can make them more comfortable and willing to go in the future.

To ensure that the first visit goes as smoothly as possible, you might consider scheduling the appointment in the morning. Your child should be alert and awake, which could reduce the chances of a meltdown.

Let your child know what to expect, and tell them how important it is to go to the dentist for healthy teeth. They will probably have a lot of questions, so do your best to answer them. If you don’t know the answer, tell your child that’s something they can ask the dentist.

If you happen to have fears about the dentist, do your best not to project those onto your child. Your role should be to support and comfort them, not make them fearful. Do what you can to make the first visit exciting and fun.

What You Should Do at the Dentist

In addition to preparing your child for their first dental visit, there are some things you’ll need to do as well. This includes putting together a list of questions or concerns you’ll want to discuss with the dentist. You’ll also need to have your child’s complete health history so that you can share that with the dentist. You’ll also need to bring your dental insurance card.

It’s also important that you share information about your child’s behavior with the dentist and the dental hygienist. Let them know if your child is shy or outgoing, or if they can be stubborn or defiant. Keep in mind that the professionals in dental offices have worked with many different types of kids, so they probably have some tricks up their sleeves to ensure that everyone stays calm during the visit. However, giving them a head’s up can be beneficial.

What to Expect During the First Visit

Typically, the first visit to the dentist is to help your child feel comfortable. That’s why it’s important to schedule this appointment as soon as possible after their first tooth has erupted before there is an issue.

Depending on the age of your child, the dentist may conduct a full exam that will look at the teeth, gums, bite and oral tissues. They may even check to see how your child is growing and developing. The dentist may do a gentle cleaning, just to give your child an idea of what the normal process looks like.

Your dentist may or may not recommend having X-rays done. If there is any concern about decay or issues with how your child’s teeth are coming in, X-rays may be part of the process. The dentist should let you know if they think X-rays will be beneficial on the first visit or not. If you have any concerns, this is when you need to bring them up.

Scheduling a Second Appointment

Just like adults, it is recommended that children visit the dentist every six months. This ensures that their teeth are coming in properly and allows them to discover if there are any developmental issues within their mouth. Catching these as early as possible can prevent major problems from occurring in the future.

Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth at Home

The first step in ensuring that your child has the best dental checkup possible is to take care of their teeth at home. Starting them as early as possible with a brushing schedule will keep their teeth clean and healthy. Here are some other ways to achieve that goal:

  • Before your child’s teeth have come in, you need to clean their gums with a damp cloth
  • After the first tooth has erupted, use a soft-bristled brush and a tiny amount of toothpaste to keep it clean
  • Stay away from toothpaste with fluoride until your child turns 3
  • At naptime or bedtime, don’t give your child a bottle that has juice, milk or other sweetened drinks
  • Limit the time your child has a bottle to five or six minutes

Want a fun way to keep your children actively brushing their teeth? Check out our free printable teeth brushing schedule!

Read More
senior dental care port washington long island - 3v dental associates

Dental & Oral Health Care As We Age

Ideally, good oral hygiene habits begin at an early age. However, if that hasn’t been the case with you, then now is an excellent time to start developing those habits. You’re never too old to go to the dentist or take good care of your teeth. Statistically, elderly adults are more likely to have poor dental health because many lost their dental insurance when they retired. According to the CDC, 20 percent of seniors who are 65 years or older have untreated cavities, and almost 68 percent of seniors have gum disease. These are unnecessary statistics and can be prevented with a regimen of good oral care. Missing or damaged or diseased teeth can negatively impact your self-image and self-esteem, so don’t delay in starting a program of good dental hygiene if you don’t already have one.

Does Age Adversely Impact Oral Health?

Age isn’t a determining factor in oral health except as it affects the ability to perform some tasks. For instance, arthritis can make it difficult to brush and floss properly, and diseases such as diabetes can lead to gum disease. Seniors who have diseases such as dementia may forget to brush and floss, and those who have diseases such as osteoporosis may be more susceptible to tooth loss. However, tooth loss isn’t an inevitable part of the aging process, and there are solutions to all of these problems.

  • Technological advances in dental appliances can make it easier to brush and floss.
  • Home health care assistants can ensure that their geriatric clients maintain good oral care.
  • Mouth rinses and mouthwashes can counteract the effects of some diseases such as diabetes and the effects of high glucose levels.

If you need any of these, don’t hesitate to speak to your dental professional about it and take control of your dental health today.

Are Seniors More Susceptible To Oral Health Issues?

Although most health issues can occur at any age, seniors may be more likely to develop some issues, such as the following, because of medications they take and the physiological changes that the medications can cause.

Gum Disease

Also called gingivitis or periodontal disease, gum disease is one of the major causes of missing teeth, and gum disease is very common in elderly adults. Years of poor hygiene can culminate in gum disease and missing teeth. Left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, which is a severe stage of gum disease that can damage the facial structure and destroy the ligaments and tissues that secure the teeth. If you suspect you have gum disease, then you should immediately make an appointment with your dentist. The following are common signs of gum disease:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Red, inflamed or swollen gums
  • Discolored gums that are red or purple
  • Receding gums
  • Perpetual bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive gums or teeth
  • Pain when you bite or chew

Delaying treatment can adversely affect both your physical and your oral health, so don’t procrastinate. Also, bacteria from gum disease can travel throughout your body and cause problems with all of your major organs, so don’t delay seeking treatment for gum disease.

Tooth Decay

Cavities aren’t restricted to children and young adults, they can occur to anyone at any age. Even if you haven’t had a cavity in decades, you can get one. If you have one or more cavities, then make an appointment with your dentist. If you delay, you can lose the tooth and possibly damage the tooth root. You can also develop an abscess, and the bacteria from it can have a deleterious effect on your major organs.

If you’re diabetic, an infection in your gums or in a tooth can disrupt your blood glucose levels, and conversely, if your blood glucose levels are out of balance, then that can cause dental problems. Maintaining good dental hygiene can help stabilize your blood glucose levels and encourage a healthy body.

If you have dentures instead of natural teeth, it’s equally important to clean them daily and remove them for four hours each day so that your mouth stays healthy. Food particles can accumulate underneath your dentures and cause an infection or gum disease, so make sure you keep your dentures clean and use the recommended cleaner for them.

If you still have your natural teeth, then a process known as attrition, which is wear and tear, can cause your tooth enamel to erode, which increases the likelihood for cavities to develop. Your teeth may become more sensitive as a result, and you may need to switch to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Dry Mouth

Aging doesn’t ensure that you’ll develop dry mouth, but it’s a common side effect of many medications that are prescribed for elderly adults. If you have dry mouth or think you may have, then consult with your dentist or your physician for methods of adding moisture to your mouth. It may seem a small matter, but dry mouth can encourage the formation of cavities, so it’s important to maintain good hydration. Medications are available to help counteract this condition and some lifestyle changes may help.

Good Oral Hygiene Practices

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the same no matter your age.

  • Brush and floss at least twice each day
  • Use a good quality toothpaste
  • Change your toothbrush at least quarterly
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash
  • Have regular checkups with your dentist
  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Limit snacks and sugar intake
  • Drink plenty of clear water
  • Get enough calcium
  • Avoid sodas and sugary drinks
  • Maintain your dentures in good condition if applicable


It’s difficult to have an appealing, well-balanced diet when you lack the teeth to chew your favorite foods. Dentures aren’t always the answer because they can make it difficult to bite and chew, so many in the geriatric set stick to soft foods rather than fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Maintaining good dental health may improve your physical health because you’ll be able to eat a variety of foods and you’ll find more enjoyment in eating.

Do You Have Difficulty With Brushing And Flossing?

Many older adults find it difficult to care for their teeth and gums as well as they’d like. Age-related diseases such as arthritis can make these tasks difficult but your dentist can recommend dental aids that will facilitate your regimen of good oral care.

You’re Never Too Old…

No matter your age, it’s never too late to start taking good care of your teeth and gums. Your teeth aren’t just for aesthetics, they’re the first stage in your digestive process, so you need them in order to properly digest your food. In addition to the manual care of brushing and flossing, it’s essential to have at least annual checkups with your dentist so that potential problems can be addressed before they develop into large issues. Start today by scheduling a checkup with 3V Dental Associates today and get started on the road to a healthy mouth and body.

Read More