Did you know that women have a higher possibility of developing oral health issues? The reason is because of they have different hormonal levels throughout their life. These changes affect their overall health but also the blood that flows through the gums. It makes their bodies respond to the acids caused by plaque less efficiently. The experts at College Park Dental tell us that it is these changes that make women more susceptible to periodontal disease, especially at different times of their lives, and this can lead to other oral health issues.
When is a woman more at risk of getting gum disease?
There are several points in life where a woman can be more susceptible to oral health issues– puberty, the time when the menstrual cycle begins; when a woman starts using oral contraceptives; when she gets pregnant; and during her menopause age.
Puberty — The increase in female hormones estrogen and progesterone which happens at this time can create more blood in the gums, and cause a different reaction to bacteria and plaque. This is the time when the gums can become inflamed, redden and become tender. At this point, a woman might experience some bleeding when she brushes and flosses.
Menstrual cycle — A woman has natural hormonal changes during her menstrual cycle. Some women tend to see gum bleedng and inflammation and canker sores during or just before or after their menstrual period. This is called as menstruation gingivitis and it generally clears up a few days afterward.
Oral Contraceptives — Some oral contraceptives, especially those that contain progesterone cause some women to have inflammation in the gums. This happens as a natural reaction to toxins produced from plaque. A woman could see changes after initiating the oral contraceptive method. Even so, some of the newer birth control pills have lower concentrations of the hormones. This minimizes the swelling in the gums for these women.
College Park Dental suggests it is important you tell your dentist if you are taking oral contraceptives. Note that certain medications, especially antibiotics, can reduce the initial symptoms you might have because of the new oral contraceptives you are taking. Be sure to tell your dentist about any medications or contraceptives you are taking. He or she needs to know this information when planning your dental treatment.
TMJ — New studies show evidence between the use of birth control pills and a lower level of estrogen. This can cause a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint and causes clicking, jaw locking or soreness in the jaw area.l finding in studies now suggests that there could be a connection between changing hormones and TMJ. According to recently published research, the idea of the connection between a decreased natural estrogen and TMJ appears to be true and this can lead to osteoarthritis developing in this jaw area.
Pregnancy — Hormone levels also change during a woman’s pregnancy stage of life and this can increase the level of oral bacteria and acids in the mouth. It is why so many women suffer from added plaque and gingivitis during their pregnancy, and this is more noticeable in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis, and many women experience swollen and bleeding gums. It is important you make your scheduled dental appointments and get your professional cleanings, as this reduces the chance of getting gingivitis.
Menopause — Many oral changes can happen at this time of life – and the correction may require medication. These changes to the mouth can alter taste, cause you to feel heat in your mouth and increase your teeth sensitivity to hot and cold foods. This time of life can also caus you to salivate less which results in dry mouth.
Dry mouth is something you want to watch for because it can easily cause periodontal disease. It is the saliva which moistens, cleanses and removes bacteria from your mouth. Note that taking certain medications can also cause dry mouth.
The declining levels of estrogen at this stage in like makes women more likely to experience bone loss or osteoporosis or even swollen and inflamed gums that can lead to further tooth loss. If you have receding gums, this is another sign of hormone and oral health issues and may result in more tooth decay and tooth sensitivity.
Hormone therapy can help and preserve oral health during and after menopause. Estrogen therapy could prevent further bone loss and protect against future tooth loss.
These tips given by College Park Dental can help you prevent periodontal disease:
- Brush your teeth as your dentist recommends. At College Park Dental, the professionals continually explain how this is done.
- Make your regular dental checkups.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Avoid sugars of all sorts.
- Avoid simple carbs.
- Ask your dentist for recommendations.
- If you experience dry mouth, ask your dentist to prescribe an alternative treatment.