Hormonal fluctuations have a surprisingly strong influence on the mouth and many women have special needs at different stages of life. Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can all influence oral health. During these times, your body experiences hormonal changes. By understanding these changes, you can practice good oral health habits that can keep your teeth and gums healthy.
More female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) cause more blood to flow to your gums, which causes them to become more sensitive and “overreact” to anything that may irritate them. “Women are more sensitive to the presence of plaque and bacteria around the gums when the hormone levels are high.
During Puberty raging hormones can leave a teenage girl’s gums red, swollen and bleeding. (In some cases, the gums’ overreaction to plaque may cause gums to actually grow bigger.)
During period a woman may not notice any change in her mouth in the days before period (In fact, most women don’t). But if you have swollen gums, bleeding gums, canker sores or swollen salivary glands, hormones may be to blame. These symptoms should subside after your period stops — but if they don’t, then the increased bleeding by your gums is signaling something else. Talk to your dentist if you have questions
During pregnancy and while using oral contraceptives(Birth control pills) elevated levels of ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone,lead to gum inflammation by promoting the growth of oral bacteria. During pregnancy, your body is in hormonal hyper drive. Some women find they have developed pregnancy gingivitis — a mild form of gum disease that causes gums to be red, tender and sore. It is most common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy
Menopause is a huge change in a woman’s life and a woman’s mouth, including altered taste, burning sensations in your mouth and increased sensitivity.They’re all related to hormones imbalance.The decreased estrogen that occurs with menopause also puts you at risk for a loss of bone density.
There are two critical changes to be aware of: dry mouth and bone loss. “Saliva cleanses the teeth and rinses cavity-causing bacteria off your teeth,When you have dry mouth, your saliva flow decreases and you’re more at risk for cavities.”
Losing bone in your jaw can lead to tooth loss.
The best treatment is Prevention. “Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day and see your dentist regularly.Removing plaque and bacteria thoroughly every day can reduce the inflammation, discomfort and bleeding.
Visiting your dentist during pregnancy is incredibly important — and absolutely safe. In fact, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings during your second trimester and early third trimester to help control gingivitis.
Talk to your dentist if your mouth is feeling dry. “If dry mouth is a problem, suck on ice chips or sugar-free candy, drink water or other caffeine-free drinks. Avoid salty, spicy, sticky and sugary foods, as well as and dry foods that are hard to chew. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine can also make dry mouth worse. At night, sleeping with a humidifier on in your room can also make a difference.
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