Women are bound to experience hormonal changes throughout their lifetime. Right from puberty to menopause. But, did you think that these hormonal changes would ever affect the gums? Well, the hormone level imbalance can affect the blood supply to the gum tissues. It can also affect the body’s response to toxins produced by bacteria in the plaque, resulting in gum disease. This blog article brings you five ways in which women’s hormones affect her dental health:
There is an increased level of blood flow to the gums, when a girl reaches puberty. This is caused by an increase in the level of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. At this time, the response of the gums to irritants in the plaque and calculus also becomes exaggerated. The irritants that would normally respond in a mild way cause swollen, red gums that are susceptible to bleeding.
Most of the times, the menstrual cycle does not cause women any dental issues. However, hormonal fluctuations or ovarian dysfunction may be a precursor for a women to anticipate possible gum problems. The problems could be in the form of swollen or bleeding gums, and a sensitive feeling in the gums before the menstrual cycle. These symptoms stop once the menstruation begins.
There goes this old saying – gain a child, lose a tooth. Well, there seems to be some truth behind this phrase. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that tend to make a woman’s gums more sensitive to the bacteria in plaque. This can cause gingivitis, which might cause irritated gums, which may swell and bleed while brushing or flossing. If this is not treated soon, your teeth could be at risk of further damage. As unattended gingivitis can result to periodontitis which is a chronic form of gum disease. The surrounding bone and the supporting structure of your teeth gets damaged and ruined.
There is something called pyogenic granuloma, commonly known as pregnancy tumour. These are harmless red swellings or lumps formed on inflamed gum tissue along the gum line. They may bleed and cause pain or discomfort while speaking and eating.
Women seldom may experience menopausal gingivostomatitis during menopause or in the postmenopausal time. Symptoms of this condition consist of red and dry gums that bleed easily. Also, you might experience a burning sensation in the mouth, dry mouth with sensitivity to cold or hot food or drinks, along with an abnormal taste sensations. Menopause causes a decline in oestrogen levels that increases the risk of bone loss. Bone loss around the jaw line can have a direct impact on your dental health.
Oral contraceptive pills
In the earlier years, oral contraceptive pills had increased levels of hormones that would worsen gum inflammation and increase chances of gum bleeding. The oral contraceptives pills available today have comparatively lower concentration of hormones and their impact on oral health is limited, if not completely safe.