How do the Hormonal Fluctuations in Women affect their Oral Health?
It is an established and well-known fact that women experience mood swings due to the hormonal changes at different stages of life. But these hormonal changes related with the puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause affect their oral health also and make them more susceptible to dental problems at certain stages of their life.
At which stages, do the women become more susceptible to oral health problems?
In a woman’s life, there are five main situations when the hormonal variations make them more prone to oral diseases. They are:
- Puberty: During the puberty, an increase in the production of women hormones viz. estrogen and progesterone is noted. This increases the blood flow to gums and alter the ways the gum tissues react to the bacterial plaque; thus resulting in reddened, swelled and bleeding gum tissues.
- Monthly Menstrual Cycle: Hormonal variations during the menstrual cycle lead to oral health problems like; red, swollen and bleeding gums, swollen salivary glands, canker sores and gingivitis.
- Pregnancy: The considerable changes in the hormonal level during pregnancy lead to gum diseases or gingival inflammation known as “pregnancy gingivitis.” At times, these changes heighten the inflammation so much so that it becomes localized and presents itself as a sore known as “pregnancy tumor.”
- Oral Contraceptives: Women taking birth control pills may develop gingivitis. It happens because these pills contain progesterone and they increase the level of that hormone in the body leading to inflamed gum tissue.
- Menopause: Due to menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease in the blood stream. Numerous oral changes can occur including; altered taste, discomfort in the mouth, pain and burning sensation, sensitivity to hot and cold beverages, tooth decay, gum diseases and loss of jaw bone due to osteoporosis.
Which preventive measures should women take to prevent these oral health related issues?
- Observe a good oral hygiene; i.e. brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride containing tooth paste and floss at least once in a day.
- Pregnant women should consult their dentists regarding nutritional counseling and should observe strict plaque controlling measures.
- If you are pregnant and suffer from morning sickness, then rinse your mouth immediately after every vomiting.
- Women experiencing dry mouth during pregnancy and menopause should drink lots of water and chew sugar less gum or candy.
- To treat oral contraceptives related gingivitis, women should visit their dentists for professional cleanings.
- During the menopause, visit your dentist twice a year for oral examination and cleaning.
- Eat a well balanced diet.
- Avoid sugary and starchy food.
Contact Dr. Bikram Singh DMD for any of your oral health related issues. We use state of the art technology to diagnose and treat your oral problems and help you to attain and sustain a pearly white smile.