Staying fit and healthy is often viewed as trendy. Although each generation has produced varying approaches to wellness, there is no doubt that a focus on health is a consistent part of our culture. However, staying healthy can become an individual fad when you find yourself one day up and ready for the gym and other days face down, usually in a bowl of ramen noodles. The truth is the same for dental health, and in this women’s wellness issue, it is important to keep in mind the importance of consistent dental and oral health care — especially for women.
According to the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN), many women go without necessary dental care because of challenging barriers “connected to and made worse by other access challenges, such as finding transportation, taking time off work, and arranging childcare.” It is not uncommon that many wives and mothers delay their own dental care to ensure their families receive dental care first. This often results in the necessity of major dental restorative work that could have been prevented prior to the neglect. Though the sentiment is noble, all family members deserve to receive proper dental care to avoid dental catastrophes.
Women also face certain unique dental concerns. Again, according to NWHN, fluctuating hormone levels during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause, as well as from oral contraceptive use, can lead to severe gum disease. Pregnancy also presents unique dental concerns as poor diet or morning sickness that can result in acid reflux and can cause damage to the teeth. Receiving dental care while pregnant should also be a team effort between the dentist and obstetrician to ensure the safety of the mother and baby while considering comfort level, medications, and radiographs. Keeping these concerns in mind, if a non-elective, critical dental issue arises, most obstetricians and dentists agree it is best to complete the treatment to avoid complications that may unsettle the pregnancy.
So, remember, as you focus on your overall health and wellness, do not overlook the value of dental and oral health by keeping your trainer close and your dentist closer! Happy smiling!
Dr. Matt Artho is the owner and dentist of Country Lakes Family Dental in Bartonville, TX countrylakesdental.com and eight-time winner of Best of Denton County