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How do Women's Hormones Affect Oral Health?
Posted on 5/1/2019 by Crossroads Family Dentistry
Hormonal changes cause women's hormones to fluctuate drastically at various intervals in their lives. It's well-known that the body experiences many changes during hormonal changes, although it's surprising to many women that hormones also affect oral health. The truth is, women's hormones are very unique, and the many changes cause an increase in oral health problems. Women must be vigilant about their oral and hormonal health to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.
As hormone levels adjust, the blood supply to the gum tissue is affected. The body is also more vulnerable to toxins and plaque, gum disease, and other oral health problems during these various stages of change in a woman's life.
Puberty is the First Experience With Hormones
Puberty is the first experience with hormonal changes for most women. Estrogen and progesterone, both female hormones, surge during the onset of puberty, increasing hormone levels and creating many changes to the body. An increase in blood flow to the gums causes tenderness, redness and sometimes, swollen and irritated gums. This affects how well your mouth fights off the bacteria found in plaque.
After puberty, females begin their menstrual cycles, which again causes estrogen and progesterone levels to spike. This usually brings a plethora of side effects which include bleeding gums, swollen gums, bright red gums, and canker sores. Many women experience gingivitis a couple of days before their menstrual cycle starts.
If a woman opts to use birth control at this time, there is yet again an increase in the risk of damaging the gum tissue. Many Birth control pills contain progesterone that can cause an overreaction to the bacteria and toxins that plaque causes. Swollen gums are oftentimes the end result.
Pregnancy Hormones & Oral Health
Once a woman decides to get pregnant, she faces yet additional hormonal changes. Any time that progesterone levels increase, it increases the risk of developing gum disease. When gum disease is brought on by pregnancy, it usually occurs during months two and eight. More frequent dental visits and dental teeth cleanings may be needed during pregnancy to reduce risks of gingivitis and other tooth damage.
How Menopause Affects Oral Health
Menopause affects women later in life. This change in life causes many oral complications ranging from altered taste to increased sensitivity to reduced bone density and dry mouth. Each of these side effects can also lead to a number of problems. For example, dry mouth may cause gum disease due to a decrease in saliva to help clean out the mouth. When there is a reduction in bone density, problem like decay and tooth loss may occur.
Protect Your Beautiful Smile
Women must take extra precaution to protect their oral health at every stage in their life due to their unique hormones and the many changes the body experiences. With regular dental visits and added oral care, women can reduce worry and maintain their beautiful smile for a lifetime.