Top 5 Hormonal Changes That Affect Women's Oral HealthTuesday, August 27th, 2013, 2:54 pm
Women have special challenges when it comes to oral health. Changing hormone levels throughout life may make women more susceptible to oral health problems. Hormones affect the blood supply to the gums and they affect they way the body reacts to problems like plaque buildup. Here are the top 5.
Top 5 Hormonal Changes Affecting Oral Health:
- Puberty bring lots of changes, and with it the possibility of sensitive or swollen gum tissue. Brushing and flossing are extremely important even though it may be a little uncomfortable. Visit the dentist if bleeding during brushing or flossing continues.
- Hormones change rapidly during the monthly menstrual cycle and some women experience canker sores, bleeding gums and bright red or swollen gums. This typically happens a day or two before the start of the period and clears up a few days later.
- Birth control pills contain progesterone which may lead to inflamed gum tissues and may increase the body’s response to the toxins produced by dental plaque.
- Progesterone also increases during pregnancy which can lead to pregnancy gingivitis. This usually happens during the 2nd to 8th month of pregnancy. Dental care is completely safe during pregnancy and your dentist may want you to have more frequent cleanings during this time. Remember that good oral health leads to better outcomes for your baby.
- Menopause can lead to changes in taste and greater sensitivity to hot and cold. Reduced saliva flow is common and some women experience burning sensations in the mouth. Medications taken to combat symptoms can increase oral health problems. The reduction in estrogen that happens during menopause puts women at greater risk for loss of bone density which can affect the health of the jaw and lead to tooth loss.
It is important that you keep your dentist aware of changes in your health and medications and schedule regular visits for dental hygiene appointments. Professional care, combined with good home care (yes, you have to floss every day!) will help keep your mouth and your body healthy throughout all of life’s changes.
Please contact Toccoa, GA preventative dentist Dr. Joseph Wilbanks at Wilbanks Smile Center today. We can be reached at 706-886-9439 and we look forward to meeting you.