Women experience quite a number of positive and challenging experiences from puberty to their first menstrual cycle, pregnancy and even menopause. Although many are aware of the effects hormones have on other areas of the body, including joints and development, few are aware of the role hormones play in oral health. It may come as a surprise that hormones dramatically affect gums, teeth and oral health overall, but it is a reality for many women experiencing hormonal transitions.
In this article, we’ll break down the ways hormones affect one’s oral health at various stages of the hormonal transition.
Hormonal Transition Life Stages
Gingivitis is a recurring oral health issue at virtually all milestones of a woman’s development. At its initial stage, gum disease is caused by an over-accumulation of plaque on the gum line and even on the teeth from lack of flossing and proper brushing. If gingivitis is able to progress without any treatment, it can develop into periodontitis, which is a far more serious oral health condition that would require more intense treatment. Periodontitis can cause bone damage and even lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, gingivitis can be effectively treated with professional dental care at each hormonal stage.
Puberty and Oral Health
There is a direct correlation between gingivitis and a high level of hormones that develop during puberty. In addition to this, some women can experience a nodular overgrowth of gums (gingiva), especially in areas that often come into contact with food, plaque and calculus deposits. This may cause the gums to become redder and swollen, which can trigger bleeding far more easily while brushing or flossing. Adolescents are more likely to wear braces than older adults, which can make it more difficult for them to brush and floss properly. That can create a breeding ground for gum disease.
Menstruation and Oral Health
Gum sensitivity and hormonal changes during menstruation can vary based on the individual, however, many women have reported experiencing swollen and bleeding gums a few days before their menstrual cycle arrived. Although the gum discomfort typically dissipates after a few days once the cycle has begun, special oral health care may be required to alleviate the pain and swelling on the gums. It’s also important to note that many women take a contraceptive pill while on their menstrual cycle, which can decrease their immune system and, in turn, negatively affect their oral health.
Pregnancy and Oral Health
Gingivitis affects anywhere from 60 to 70% of all pregnant women. This staggering fact is caused by the exaggeration of hormones to the inflammatory response and, ultimately, trigger gums to become more swollen and sensitive, which may cause them to bleed far more. Some pregnant women have stated that this gingival change occurs during the eighth month of pregnancy.
Dentistry In Newmarket is dedicated to keeping each of our patients happy and healthy. Not only does our Newmarket family dentist offer high-quality dental services, but we also offer educational resources to ensure your oral health is in check at all stages of life. To book an appointment, visit us at https://dentistryinnewmarket.co/contact-newmarket-dentist/.