Maintaining women's oral health. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Women must adopt health-promoting strategies for both general health and the oral cavity, because the health of a woman's body and oral cavity are bidirectional. For general health-maintenance strategies, dental practitioners should actively advise women to minimize alcohol use, abstain from or cease smoking, stay physically active, and choose the right foods to nourish both the body and mind. For oral health-maintenance strategies, dental practitioners should advise women on how to prevent or control oral infections, particularly dental caries and periodontal diseases. Specifically, women need to know how to remove plaque from the teeth mechanically, use appropriate chemotherapeutic agents and dentifrices, use oral irrigation, and control halitosis. Dental practitioners also need to stress the importance of regular maintenance visits for disease prevention. Adolescent women are more prone to gingivitis and aphthous ulcers when they begin their menstrual cycles and need advice about cessation of tobacco use, mouth protection during athletic activities, cleaning orthodontic appliances, developing good dietary habits, and avoiding eating disorders. Women in early to middle adulthood may be pregnant or using oral contraceptives with concomitant changes in oral tissues. Dental practitioners need to advise them how to take care of the oral cavity during these changes and how to promote the health of their infants, including good nutrition. Older women experience the onset of menopause and increased vulnerability to osteoporosis. They may also experience xerostomia and burning mouth syndrome. Dental practitioners need to help women alleviate these symptoms and encourage them to continue good infection control and diet practices.

author list (cited authors)

  • McCann, A. L., & Bonci, L.

citation count

  • 18

publication date

  • July 2001