Women today are keenly aware of their need to cultivate strong minds and bodies for meeting the growing demands of their active lifestyles. As such, medical professionals are working diligently to educate them regarding those health issues which uniquely affect women’s health.
Recent studies have amply born witness to the reality that good oral health is a key factor in determining a woman’s overall health and well being. What’s more, maintaining good oral health plays a vital role in the prevention and mitigation of a variety of women’s health issues.
Of all the women who die each year, one in four will die of heart disease. Women with periodontal (gum) disease are twice as likely to have heart disease, a heart attack, or stroke. One culprit responsible for this increased risk is bacteria in the mouth. High concentrations can make you more likely to develop calcification of the carotid artery, leading to stroke. Keeping your gums healthy can reduce these harmful bacteria and decrease the plaque that may form in your arteries.
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects 40% of women over the age of 65. As we age, our bone density decreases. This overall decrease can affect our alveolar bone (the foundation for our teeth), making it more porous and prone to tooth loss. Women with poor dental health and osteoporosis are more likely to develop dental problems leading to the loss of their teeth.
For women still of child bearing age, good dental health contributes greatly to their ability to deliver a full-term, healthy weight baby. Specifically, studies have shown a link between periodontal disease and low birth weight babies. The American Academy of Periodontology has reported that women with periodontal disease during pregnancy are seven times more likely to have a preterm, low birth weight baby. They suggest that this staggering increase in risk may be linked to the chemical prostaglandin which is produced by the bacteria in mouths of mothers with periodontal disease. Unchecked, this chemical may induce labor.
Whether you are an active young woman wanting to protect your health (and that of your unborn children), a concerned senior wanting to make the most of your retirement years, or anyone in between, a simple solution for the prevention of these and other health issues is to visit your dentist regularly. The dentist will perform an exam, thoroughly evaluate the health of your teeth and gums, and have a hygienist clean your teeth. Any observed problems may be addressed at that time.
You faithfully schedule your annual GYN exam. You faithfully schedule your annual Mammogram, Bone Density Exam, etc. To take a bite out of a broad range of female health issues, add a visit to a highly qualified dentist to your list of annual exams!