Hormonal changes affect women at different stages of their lives. You may be surprised to learn these shifts make women more vulnerable to dental health issues.
Changes in female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can affect the blood supply to the gum tissue, leading your gums to become more sensitive and overreact. When hormone levels are high, women are more sensitive to plaque and bacteria around the gums. This can cause your gums to enlarge, bleed, and become irritated.
As a result of these changes, women are more likely to acquire periodontal disease and other dental health concerns at different phases of their life.
There are four stages in a woman’s life when variations in hormone levels make them more vulnerable to oral health problems, including:
The impacts on your oral health are preventable and reversible if you start paying special attention to your mouth during these four life stages.
During puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy, your body produces significant amounts of estrogen and progesterone. Increased estrogen and progesterone increase blood flow.
As a result, there is an increased likelihood of swollen tissues, swollen saliva glands, canker sores, and bleeding gums. These symptoms hinder proper dental hygiene as the mouth and gums are susceptible to plaque, bacteria, soreness, and redness with a greater risk of gingivitis.
A sudden reduction in female hormones can impact your dental health. Menopause causes a decline in estrogen levels. The body stops manufacturing estrogen and progesterone at the same rate after menopause.
Dry mouth is a common side effect of estrogen and progesterone deficiency in women. Saliva serves a crucial function in neutralizing the acids produced by bacteria, which can cause more than simply irritation. You may be more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
Another factor for women’s health during menopause is bone loss. Women who have less estrogen in their blood are more likely to lose bone density, which includes the jaw bone. This can lead to tooth loss and receding gums.
Through all of life’s hormonal changes, regular oral hygiene practices can keep your gums and teeth healthy and pain-free, including:
- More frequent brushing (2x a day or more)
- Flossing at least once a day
- Regular dental visits twice a year
- A proper healthy diet
- Avoid sugary or starchy snacks
The knowledgeable and friendly dental team of Dr. Hal N. Arnold can help you evaluate and manage your oral health care needs. We have more than 30 years of experience caring for dental patients and understand the changes you may experience and what may impact your oral health.
For an evaluation or to schedule an appointment, contact the knowledgeable staff of Dr. Hal N. Arnold here.