In my more than 30 years of private dental practice, I have been privileged to work with many families through three – and sometimes even four – generations. Young parents who were once new to my practice 30 years ago now have full-grown children and grandchildren of their own, many of whom are now my patients as well. Becoming 'the family dentist' is one of the greatest joys of my practice. It has also taught me a great deal about the different ways teeth and gums can change over a lifetime.
Men and women each experience many different health challenges that affect the health of the teeth and gums as they grow older, but women specifically experience three major transitions that can have a regular and lasting effect on their oral health. The physical changes that come with menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause each present their own unique challenges when it comes to the health of the mouth. Over the years, I have been able to help many women maintain or even improve their oral health through each of these phases. But I am continually surprised at how little many women who are new to my practice know about the interrelationships between their regular hormonal fluctuations and the health of their mouths.
This month, I have created a new resource specifically designed to help women of all ages understand these relationships better, improve their home-care regimens during major physical transitions, and recognize when it is prudent to consult with a dentist or hygienist further. I hope that you will share this resource with your friends and loved ones – and most especially with your daughters. The more we all understand about how our bodies work, the better we will be able to help and support one another – and ultimately be healthier women for it.