WOMEN AND ORAL HEALTH
Everyone is at risk when it comes to gum disease and dental caries, but according to Perio.org, women could be more susceptible when it comes to oral health.
Unlike men, women are unique in that they experience more hormonal changes that can affect the blood supply that flows to the gum tissue. This also affects how a woman’s body responds to certain poisons and toxins such as plaque buildup.
Because of these changes, women are more apt to develop gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Your dentist explains that there are five situations during a woman’s life when hormone fluctuations may make them more vulnerable to oral health problems.
Puberty causes a surge of estrogen and progesterone that increases blood flow. This changes the way your gum tissue reacts to the bacteria in plaque. This causes your gum tissue to become tender, red, and swollen. During puberty, your gums will also be more likely to bleed when you floss and brush.
Once a month during menstruation women experience hormonal changes due to an increase in progesterone. You may experience swollen salivary glands, bright red and swollen gums and be more susceptible to canker sores and bleeding gums. Menstruation gingivitis is a condition that occurs a couple of days before the beginning of a period and in normal circumstances will clear up just after menstruating starts.
Birth control pills can also wreck havoc with oral health. If you take birth control pills with progesterone, your hormone levels will be increased. This could cause inflamed gum tissue because of your body’s reaction to toxins and bacteria caused by plaque. Be sure and let your dentist know if you are taking oral contraceptives.
One of the biggest hormonal changes in a woman’s life occurs during pregnancy thanks to an increase in progesterone. Once again, gum disease can take its toll on your gum tissue when you are expecting, especially from the second to the eighth month. Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition that may require additional professional dental cleanings during both your second trimester and the early part of your third trimester.
If you would like more information regarding women and oral health, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.