The Role of Hormones in a Woman’s Oral Health

There are lots of differences among men and women. If there’s one thing that women probably don’t like, it’s how they are more susceptible to oral health problems because of hormonal changes. Hormones affect a woman’s health through two ways: they affect the amount of blood supplied to the gum tissue and they also play a role in the body’s response to toxins that come from plaque buildup.

Because of these, there are certain points in women’s lives that they are at great risk to periodontal disease and other dental ailments. Good thing, there are only about five situations when woman’s hormonal fluctuations invite oral health problems. These include puberty, menstrual cycle, during use of birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause.

During puberty, a girl would have a surge in the production of estrogen and progesterone. These are female hormones that occur during puberty. They increase the flow of blood to the gums. They also change the way the gums respond to irritants. They cause the gum tissue to become inflamed, red, and tender. The gums are also more likely to bleed when a girl brushes flosses her teeth.

Menstrual cycle
During the monthly menstrual cycle, a woman undergoes hormonal changes. The production of progesterone increases. Changes that a woman feels during this time include red and swollen gums, swollen salivary glands, bleeding gums, and canker sores. There’s also what they call menstruation gingivitis, which is a type of gum disease that shows up one to two days before the onset of the menstrual period. It goes away when the period has already started.

Use of birth control pills
The pill is the most common form of birth control. This oral contraceptive contains progesterone that increases the level of that hormone in the body. When you take this contraceptive, the gum tissues become inflamed when they come into contact with irritants from plaque. That’s the body’s exaggerated response to toxins inside the mouth. It’s a good idea to pay your dentist a visit if you’re going to take or if you are taking pills so you two can work out a plan on how to prevent this from becoming a bothersome issue for you.

Levels of hormones also change significantly during pregnancy. For one, the increased amount of progesterone can bring gum disease. This usually happens from the second to the eighth month of the pregnancy. This is called pregnancy gingivitis. Dentists usually recommend frequent professional cleaning during the second or third trimester to decrease the risk of developing this gum problem. Be sure to inform your dentist if you’re pregnant or you’re planning on having a baby.

So many changes in one’s oral health will occur as a woman ages. These include altered taste, burning sensation inside the mouth, increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks, and lower amounts of saliva inside the mouth that can lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth can result in various dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and so on. Not only that, the drop in estrogen after a woman has stopped having menstruation also makes her more prone to tooth loss.

To combat the dental problems that you may face when you are in any of these stages, be sure to do the following: brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, visit your dentist twice a year, eat a well-balanced diet, stay away from sugary snacks, and have dry mouth treated with artificial saliva.

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