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Hormones can alter all aspects of your body. Your weight, mood, and even oral health can all shift to a vulnerable state due to hormonal surges. Female hormones like estrogen and progesterone cause more blood to flow to your gums, which causes the gum tissue to become more sensitive and easily irritated. Women are more susceptible to plaque and bacteria around the gums when hormone levels are elevated.
Gum disease and other oral health changes linked to elevated hormones can all be prevented and reversed in the early stages. Every woman should pay extra attention to the state of their oral health during these give essential times in their life.
Raging hormones first begin when a girl becomes a teenager. Gums that are red, swollen, and bleeding are all an indication of elevated hormone levels, causing the gums to overreact to plaque. It is also not uncommon for teenagers to develop canker sores, which typically heal on their own.
The best way to keep your teen’s gums healthy during puberty is to stick with an excellent oral hygiene routine that consists of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Additionally, having your teen see a dentist regularly for cleanings and exams will give them some much-needed assistance in removing plaque and bacteria that can cause gum inflammation.
Swollen gums, bleeding gums, canker sores, or swollen salivary glands are not uncommon symptoms for a woman to experience during her period. These symptoms caused by elevated hormone levels should subside after your period ends. If they continue after your period has come and gone, then it’s recommended to talk to your dentist. Persistent bleeding gums can indicate gum disease, which should be evaluated by a dentist ASAP.
Most forms of birth control include a certain level of estrogen and progesterone. The first month after starting birth control has the most significant impact on the body. When these large fluctuations of hormones begin, some women begin to experience gum disease-like symptoms and an increase in tooth sensitivity. Women who already have gingivitis or are at a higher risk for gum disease to develop should be aware of how the side effects of oral contraceptives can further affect their oral health and increase their chances.
During pregnancy, your body’s hormone levels are ever-changing. As a result, it is not uncommon for some women to develop pregnancy gingivitis. This mild form of gum disease causes gums to become red, tender, and sore. It is most commonly seen in pregnant women between the second and eighth month of pregnancy. To keep pregnancy gingivitis at bay, or under control, stay on top of your brushing and flossing routine throughout pregnancy. Visiting your dentist during pregnancy is also incredibly important and entirely safe. If you are diagnosed with pregnancy gingivitis, it is not uncommon for a dentist to recommend more frequent cleanings during your second and third trimester to help keep your teeth healthy and gingivitis in check.
Menopause has a considerable change on a woman’s life, and these changes in hormones can even alter taste or create a burning sensation in the mouth with increased sensitivity. Dry mouth and bone loss are commonly seen in women going through menopause, which leads to a woman’s higher risk of developing cavities and tooth loss. To help reduce your risk of dry mouth and bone loss in your law, work with your dentist and physician to ensure you are obtaining the correct amount of calcium and vitamin D while avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
Routine Exams For Keeping Your Smile Healthy
A healthy smile goes far beyond having bright white teeth and no cavities. Major oral health issues of concern to women include gum disease, dry mouth, canker sores, and tooth loss. Research has also determined that women with periodontal disease (gum disease) have an increased risk of stroke, diabetes, and respiratory issues.
If you are concerned about the state of your oral health and the role of fluctuating hormone levels on your teeth and gums, call Aubrey Baudean DDS today to schedule an exam.