Your oral health is impacted by your oral hygiene care, by your diet, and even by the hormonal shifts, particularly for women. Estrogen and progesterone can profoundly affect the gum tissue, because the more they are in the system, the more blood flow goes to the gums.
The problem with this is that the gums then become overly sensitive to plaque and bacteria that irritate them. The body reacts with inflammation, fighting off the effects. What you end up with is swollen, bleeding gum tissue. Over time, chronic gum inflammation can result in jawbone loss and tooth loss. The phases of a woman’s life where hormones can harm their oral health include the following:
Puberty phase: gums react with swelling, reddening, bleeding, and canker sores.
Menstrual phase: before a period, the gums react with swelling, bleeding gums, canker sores, and possibly swollen salivary glands.
Birth control phase: these can increase dry socket after a tooth extraction (preventing the blood from clotting properly in the socket).
Pregnancy phase: during this phase women are susceptible to “pregnancy gingivitis”, which is the early stage of gum disease. Again, the gums can be tender, sore, and inflamed.
Menopausal phase: during this phase, women can experience a burning sensation in the mouth, altered taste, along with increased gum sensitivity. There is a decrease in saliva levels which results in dry mouth, and with the lower levels of estrogen, jaw bone loss increases and potentially, tooth loss.
To help your passage during these phases, we advise maintaining high oral hygiene standards and support your oral health with a well-balanced diet. Attend all six-month dental cleanings and exams will help avoid oral disease and provide early treatment when gum disease is often reversible.
Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health. We can be reached at 718-638-6607. Our dentist, Dr. Leonard Brenner and our Brenner Dental of Park Slope team in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York are here for your smile!