Hormones regulate many bodily functions — including women’s oral health. Unknown to many, there is a link between hormones and dental health. Unfortunately, women are more susceptible to some conditions because of the hormonal changes they undergo.
For this reason, women should understand their unique dental needs. In this article, we will discuss hormones, fluctuation periods, and practical oral health tips.
Hormones are regulatory substances responsible for communicating messages from the brain and other glands to the rest of the body. After producing them, our bodies then send them out to tell cells and organs what to do. For instance, diabetic individuals can use insulin to control blood sugar levels.
Our endocrine system controls our hormones. Below are some of the glands that secrete them.
When our endocrine system experiences an imbalance, it may lead to oral health problems.
There are five circumstances when hormone fluctuations are common, making women’s oral health prone to complications. These are the times when we need to pay close attention to our hormones and dental health.
During puberty, there is a surge in estrogen and progesterone production in the body. This process boosts the blood flow to the gums, making them tender, swollen, and prone to bleeding.
At this age, excessive bleeding while brushing or flossing may be a sign of oral health problems.
A woman’s monthly period brings about hormonal changes that lead to menstrual gingivitis, a temporary condition when gums experience bleeding, irritation, or soreness. Menstrual gingivitis research shows that this condition affects 24.5% of women during the premenstrual phase and 4.7% during the menstrual phase.
When using oral contraceptives with progesterone, women may experience inflamed gum tissues. For this reason, it’s best to inform your dentists if you take them. Doing so helps them prescribe the ideal medicines that won’t lower the effectiveness of your pills.
As mothers are aware, hormone levels fluctuate during pregnancy. Often arising from the second to eighth month of pregnancy, a boost in progesterone levels can make expectant moms more prone to bacterial plaque. This condition may turn to pregnancy gingivitis if left untreated.
Apart from hormonal changes, the medicines aging women take often lead to dry mouth. Without professional guidance, the bacteria buildup may cause conditions like gum disease and tooth decay.
When you notice any pain or discomfort in your mouth during periods of high imbalance risk, we recommend seeing a dentist. You don’t have to wait for your semi-annual visit to discuss potential gum disease or tooth decay symptoms.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all dental health solution, below are some guidelines.
Women’s oral health is different from men’s. There is a link between hormones and dental health that specialists should address. If you’re looking for dentists who understand your needs, book an appointment with our specialists. We will help you protect your dental health, no matter what hormonal phase you’re going through.