Navigation Links
Women Only: Cramps, Bloating and Now, Tooth Erosion?

CHICAGO, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Monthly menstrual cycles produce many uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, symptoms, which can include cramps, headaches and bloating. With more intense, painful menstruation, a condition otherwise known as dysmenorrhea, regular vomiting also is a symptom. This monthly recurrence can cause severe tooth erosion, according to a study in the November/December 2008 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

This condition often masquerades as an eating disorder, since both dysmenorrhea and bulimia nervosa cause noticeable erosion on the back of the front teeth of the top jaw as a result of the exposure to stomach acid. However, it is imperative that patients understand the main distinguishing factor between the two conditions.

"Whereas bulimia nervosa is a voluntary act - the woman induces vomiting herself - dysmenorrhea is involuntary," says Mohamed Bassiouny, DMD, MSc, PhD, author of the study. "Contractions in the uterus or the abdominal wall force the patient to vomit without any cause."

Due to its uncontrollable force, dysmenorrhea also creates a different erosion pattern on the teeth. "A dentist can tell when a patient suffers from bulimia or dysmenorrhea, due to the distinct erosion patterns," says Dr. Bassiouny. "When vomiting is voluntary, the individual controls the direction and force," he says. "The tongue creates a tunnel which protects, in most instances the back teeth. When a patient has dysmenorrhea, the erosion affects almost all surfaces of the dentition to varying extents."

Dr. Bassiouny also notes that many women are affected by dysmenorrhea without knowing that the condition exists. "Roughly 52 percent of the population suffers from the condition," he says, "and women who are affected by dysmenorrhea usually do not detect the damage to their teeth until later in life." In his research, women become aware of dysmenorrhea's effects on teeth in their 50s or 60s, whereas women who suffer from bulimia do so most commonly in their 20s or 30s due to the fast rate of destruction by the frequent voluntary vomiting. The symptoms of dysmenorrhea, he says, can occur every three to four weeks and even outside of the traditional cycle, and last between 10-12 days.

When severe erosion occurs, "the tooth enamel is worn down, exposing the nerve endings of the teeth, which results in tooth sensitivity," says Connie White, DDS, FAGD, spokesperson for the AGD. Although erosion is not reversible, Dr. White says, dentists can help reduce the effects of the acid on the teeth by advising them on proper care. Patients should "rinse the mouth thoroughly during episodes of vomiting and avoid immediate brushing of the area. Brushing right after vomiting actually worsens the effects of the acid because it rubs the acid into the teeth."

According to Dr. Bassiouny, to treat the condition it is imperative that women inform all health professionals of the symptoms. "The condition and associated dental fallout are not purely medical or purely dental," he says. "Women who suffer from dysmenorrhea need to be treated by a gynecologist for internal causes and by the dentist to restore and prevent further damage to the dentition. This coordinated effort of management is the best course of action."

Dental effects of dysmenorrhea:

  • Teeth may show loss of enamel
  • Exposed dentin of affected teeth may appear brownish
  • Sensitivity due to dental erosion
  • Teeth appear shorter
  • Disfigurement of facial esthetics

The AGD is a professional association of more than 35,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up-to-date in the profession through continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD has grown to become the world's second largest dental association, which is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists.

More than 786,000 persons are employed directly in the field of general dentistry. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of services related to patients' oral health needs.

Editor's Note: A copy of the study, "Dental erosion linked to dysmenorrhea," is available. Call 312.440.4346 or e-mail

SOURCE Academy of General Dentistry
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Antioxidants show no clear benefit against cardiovascular events, death in high-risk women
2. Work-Family Conflict Dogs Air Force Women After Deployment
3. Work-Family Conflict Dogs Air Force Women After Deployment
4. Antioxidant Supplements May Raise Womens Skin Cancer Risk
5. Early Weight Loss in Women Linked to Dementia
6. For Health Info, Women Often Turn to the Web
7. Smoking increases risks for head and neck cancers for men and women
8. New Study Reports High Injury Rates for Hotel Workers, Even Higher Rates for Women and Nonwhites
9. Passive smoking increases sleep disturbance among pregnant women
10. Trial to Test Gene Therapy for Angina in Women
11. Exercise and yoga improves quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The Turks & Caicos Islands has ... leading digital news sites highlighting Caribbean destinations, has published five reasons to visit the ... North America shivers under chilly grey skies or worse, it's typically a balmy 80 ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Jones as a 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year ... is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 members ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... BALTIMORE, Md. (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... be rewarding, but also extremely stressful. At the VA Maryland Health Care ... who care for veterans patients. “Caregivers have a difficult job. Seventy-four percent ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Stress, anxiety, illness, infection or even a need for eyeglasses ... Heather Spader, MD, a new pediatric neurosurgeon at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, ... tumors. , “Bad headaches that don’t go away, that don’t have any ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... The directory is specialized and only includes chiropractic clinics in the US. , ... and trustworthy alternative health practitioner when back pain sets in. When people are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... December 1, 2015 ... adds "Endometriosis - Pipeline Review, H2 2015" ... on therapeutic pipeline of Endometriosis and helps ... counter strategies to gain competitive advantage. It ... and MOAs to produce first-in-class and best-in-class ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  DURECT Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX ... , Chief Financial Officer, will be presenting ... December 8 at 2:45 pm Eastern Time.  ... Westin Grand Central Hotel in New York.  ... meetings at this conference; interested institutional investors ...
(Date:11/30/2015)...   Royal Philips  (NYSE: PHG ; ... Solutions, a fully integrated, consultative approach to enhance ... practice management approaches that combine imaging systems, services, ... care delivery and reduce costs. Making its debut ... America Annual Meeting (RSNA) in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: