Forward Focus: Achieving Healthier Futures Together
All this week, we are celebrating ‘National Women’s Health Week’. Prioritising your health – both physical and mental – has never been more important. Over the past few years, many women have put off taking care of their general health and wellness needs. They have adjusted their daily routines, including the way they connect with family and friends. The combination has led to serious health problems for some women.
What steps can I take for better, overall health?
- Take care of your body and mind
- Stay active
- Take care of your mental health
- Practice good sleeping habits
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Monitor your alcohol intake and avoid smoking and drug taking
When it comes to taking steps for better health, we know it’s not always easy. Every woman has their own approach and is on their own unique personal health journey.
“Good oral health is essential for good general health”
Gum Disease is usually painless, and many women do not even realise they have it. The best defense to prevent gum disease is by brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and visiting your dentist regularly.
Specifically for women, research has linked gum disease to a wide range of health problems:
- Heart Disease:People with gum disease may be more at risk of developing heart disease.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease and it may be more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar levels.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women that suffer from gum disease may be more likely to go into early labour or their baby might be born too small. Gum disease may also trigger increased levels of fluid that may induce labour.
Oral Health is essential to a woman’s health throughout her lifespan, especially during pregnancy
Changes in female hormone levels during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause emphasise the way in which your gums react to plaque biofilm.
During these varying stages in life, women need to be thorough when brushing and looking after their oral health:
- Menstruation: Some women suffer from gum swelling and/or bleeding prior to their period. Women may also suffer from cold sores. These usually clear up once your period begins.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, your elevated hormones can make your gums swell, making it easier for food to get stuck in awkward areas. At this stage, gums are more susceptible to the presence of plaque biofilm causing an inflammation called pregnancy gingivitis. This usually happens around the second and third trimester of pregnancy and is most common to appear at the front of your mouth. You can control this by brushing away the plaque biofilm carefully with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can use a plaque disclosing agent (dye) to show where the plaque is not being removed properly. Visit your dentist or hygienist for a cleaning to remove any other irritants around your teeth. Your gums should return to normal after your baby is born. The swelling and tendency to bleed is reduced, however, if this does not happen you should return to your dental professional for further advice and treatment if necessary.
- Menopause: Oral symptoms include red/inflamed gums, oral pain and discomfort, altered taste sensations and dry mouth.