Women are all-too-familiar with hormonal changes. Because of our physiological quirks, we’re more likely to experience them intensely. During the menstrual and ovulation cycles, we often find ourselves bearing the brunt of hormonal fluctuations. But how do these hormonal changes affect women’s oral health?
A lot, as it turns out. Specific level changes can make women more vulnerable to oral disease. This susceptibility arises as these fluctuations change the body’s reaction to plaque and other toxins. It’s for this reason that women are more susceptible to more oral diseases at specific points in their lives.
By understanding how these hormonal changes affect women’s oral health, women can make use of this knowledge to prepare for these ailments beforehand. That said, which of the critical stages should women zoom into?
Before puberty strikes, a girl’s hormone levels are relatively low and stable. Their oral health, then, usually hinges on other factors. These factors typically include their maintenance and diet. However, they also extend to a predisposition towards certain diseases, either genetically or environmentally.By the time they reach puberty, however, their hormone levels are significantly heightened. With estrogen and progesterone up, blood flow to the gums increases. Because of this, their gums may swell and may be more sensitive to flossing and brushing, particularly in the presence of plaque. This inflammatory response happens because a woman’s mouth has a harder time fighting off plaque compared to when she has normal hormone levels.While you can’t do much to fight this off, the best course of action is to still keep to a solid dental hygiene foundation. Even if brushing and flossing might be uncomfortable at this time, continuing can prevent worse ailments. Just be a little gentle.
During the menstrual cycle, progesterone and estrogen levels fluctuate regularly. As such, these fluctuations may wreak a little havoc on a woman’s gums and mouth. The swollen gums from puberty become a mainstay during this time. Pre-menstruation, a woman may encounter what some call “menstrual gingivitis.” This condition bears the same symptoms as a regular bout of gingivitis. The symptoms, however, go away once a woman’s cycle begins. Other problems may include oral sores.Much like puberty, the only way to combat this is to keep to your dental routine. In the case of gingivitis, you can consult your dentist on mitigating the symptoms. Lessening your sugar intake might also bring down the swelling while starving. But even if they don’t, it can nonetheless give your oral bacteria less fuel for the fire.
When you are pregnant, progesterone surges. This surge lowers your mouth’s ability to combat plaque even more. Like the menstrual cycle, your mouth also undergoes gingivitis-like symptoms, which may make it more difficult for you to brush and floss. Regardless, it’s during this time that you need to pay special attention to your oral health, as what happens in your mouth may affect your child as well.During this time, you might opt to have your teeth professionally cleaned to ease the strain on you and limit the risk of developing actual gingivitis.
At this stage, the medicines you take and the hormonal changes your body undergoes may cause drastic changes to your mouth. Dry mouth becomes more frequent due to particular medication, while less estrogen puts you at risk of periodontitis. For this, you might want to consider hormone therapy to prevent any ill effects menopause may cause on your dental health.