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Women Only: Cramps, Bloating and Now, Tooth Erosion?
Date:2/18/2009

e." 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 t
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SOURCE Academy of General Dentistry
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