Women and Periodontal Health
For women and periodontal health, hormones are a fact of life, as well as a key influencer of body changes from the skin to hair to – yes, your teeth and gums! As they fluctuate, they affect tissues all over your body, change blood supplies to some areas, and even hamper your body’s abilities to handle toxins. If you never thought to blame your bleeding gums or dry mouth on estrogen, read on to learn about the unique ways women’s periodontal health changes throughout life.
Starting with puberty, sex hormone production rises, with estrogen and progesterone combining to increase blood flow to the gums. In turn, gums become more sensitive and respond more strongly to irritants, like plaque.
Suddenly, it seems, normal brushing and flossing can make gums bleed. In addition, they’re likely to feel and look more swollen, irritated, and tender.
As progesterone begins to rise after the first month of pregnancy, so does the risk of gum disease. In addition to the general woes of morning sickness and swollen feet, expectant moms can also add the threat of pregnancy gingivitis. As the body responds strongly to irritants, it can also create persistent lumps in the mouth.
To help prevent issues with the symptoms, as well as avoid infections that could harm your pregnancy, it’s advisable to check in with your dentist or Dr. Malek. They may advise more frequent cleanings during your second and third trimester.
On a more regular schedule, the monthly rise and fall of progesterone that kicks off the menstrual cycle can cause similar issues. If you’ve ever noticed that your mouth was popping up with canker sores, swollen salivary glands, or sore gums a couple of days before that time of the month, you’re probably experiencing menstruation gingivitis. Fortunately, it clears up at the start of your period.
As they also influence hormone levels, oral contraceptives containing progesterone can create symptoms such as sore, bleeding gums. As with any predictions, be sure to advise our office if you’re taking birth control pills so that we can reduce the potential for drug interactions. Some antibiotics, for example, will reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.
Dr. Malek can help with all women’s periodontal issues, providing treatment options, check-ups, and recommendations. Please contact our office if you have any questions.
How Can Dr. Malek Help?
Contact Malek Periodontics today to schedule an appointment and be on your way to a healthy smile, healthy life.