Can Hormone Changes Lead to Gum Disease in Women?

Everyone goes through hormone changes but women, in particular, have more fluctuations and thus show more side-effects than men. Some of those side-effects appear in oral health, particularly gum disease. In all phases of a woman’s life she has hormonal changes and depending on the time and change she will experience different effects in her oral health.

Puberty with it attendant flood of estrogen and progesterone can increase blood flow to the gums. That, combined with issues of plaque buildup, can cause irritated gums and bleeding. The menstrual cycle has its own potential effect on gum disease. There is such a condition as menstrual gingivitis that can appear one to two days before the menses begins. It can cause bleeding gums, canker sores, swollen and red gums. It usually clears at the end of the period.

Oral contraceptives with their increase in progesterone can lead to sore, swollen gums. Be sure your dentist knows you are on oral birth control. Pregnancy with its various hormone changes can cause oral health problems including gingivitis. This is particularly true of the second to the eighth month. A good cleaning from your dentist is going a long way to help this. Just be sure to let him know you’re pregnant.

Finally, menopausal women are particularly prone to gum disease. Dry mouth is a common condition and this lack of saliva can wreak havoc with your teeth. That in combination with certain medications can lead to complications with your oral health. Gum disease is a known cause of health complications when it comes to diabetes and heart problems. Few women are aware of that connection when considering menopause’s effects on gum disease and their overall health.

Since hormonal changes can affect your oral health and cause gum disease, it is very important to make extra effort to practice good oral hygiene by regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist.

If you are experiencing hormonal changes, please contact us today