Latinas Can’t Afford to Ignore Dental Care


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SaludToday Guest Blogger
Jefferson Dental Clinics

Woman with tooth acheLatinas and other women are highly susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.

One big reason is that Latinas are more likely than their peers to skip routine dental care due to cost, according to a study. Untreated dental issues can produce significant pain and tooth loss.

Biological factors also play a role. Women are vulnerable to oral health issues during periods of hormonal fluctuation: puberty, with the use of birth control pills, and pregnancy and menopause. Thus, hormones are a major cause of gum disease, which is characterized by chronically irritated and inflamed gums and can lead to gum recession and eventual tooth loss.

Bleeding and swollen gums, first signs of gum disease, are a common complaint in pregnant women that often are overlooked. Researchers have even found that poor oral health in pregnancy has been linked to pre-term birth and low birth rates.

Despite these risks, only 20-30% of women visit the dentist during pregnancy.

Also, illnesses that are more prevalent in women, such as osteoporosis and breast cancer, have been linked to poor oral health.

The key for a healthy mouth is routine dental care. Follow these tips:

  • Brush teeth for two minutes, and floss between every tooth twice daily.
  • Scrape your tongue to reduce bacteria in the mouth.
  • Don’t over use whitening products, which can weaken tooth enamel.
  • Visit the dentist every six months for an exam, X-ray and cleaning. Your dentist can detect oral health conditions before they become a bigger issue. If you don’t have insurance check out the Jefferson Dental Discount Plan.
  • Remember that you don’t always see or feel an oral health problem. If you do feel swelling, tooth ache, soreness, numbness or pain in the mouth, then don’t delay on care.

Visit for more dental care tips and resources.

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