The oral cavity is vulnerable to hormonal shifts, which can take its toll on women. There are various phases in a woman’s life where hormones ebb and flow. Estrogen and progesterone affect the gums as the more they are produced, the more blood flow goes to the gums.
This makes the gums more sensitive to what irritates them, like plaque and oral bacteria. These cause the gums to inflame, leaving them swollen and bleeding. Unfortunately, if chronic inflammation of the gums goes on long enough, jawbone loss and tooth loss can occur. The following phases affect women’s oral health the most:
Puberty phase: oral tissues react to hormones with swelling, reddening, bleeding, and canker sores.
Menstrual phase: before a period, the spike in hormones may result in swollen, bleeding gums, canker sores, the salivary glands to swell.
Birth control phase: these hormones can increase a women’s risk of dry socket after a tooth extraction has been performed. This is where the blood doesn’t clot like it normally would in the tooth socket.
Pregnancy phase: the spikes in hormones during this phase is phenomenal, and the gums are especially susceptible to inflammation of the gum tissue. This resulting inflammation causes tenderness, and soreness as well.
Menopausal phase: these hormones can result in a feeling of burning in the mouth, altered taste, and increased gum sensitivity. Since the hormones interfere with healthy saliva production, dry mouth can occur. As estrogen decreases women are especially at higher risk for the law of supportive jaw bone and ultimately, tooth loss.
During these phases, we recommend a diligent daily oral hygiene practice to avoid gum disease and tooth decay. Supporting your oral health with a balanced diet can also be helpful. Seeing your dentist every six months will help keep problems at bay and offer early intervention when gum disease is often reversible.
If you need help with your oral health, we invite you to call 516-485-1145 today to seek treatment with our dentist, Dr. Bertha Bravo. Our Bertha D. Bravo, Dentist PC team in Hempstead, New York is ready to help you achieve the healthy smile you deserve!