Did you know that hormonal fluctuations could actually affect your oral health?
Ladies: listen up! You may not realize this, but your hormones don’t just play a role in how you feel or what foods you are suddenly craving. Hormones can actually play a role in the health of your teeth and gums, as well. From the office of our Hasbrouck Heights, NJ dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Mason, find out more about how hormone levels impact your oral health.
Unfortunately, women may be at a greater risk for developing certain health issues because of fluctuations in their hormones. Why? Because hormones have the ability to affect how much blood flow gets to the gums, as well as how your body responds to things like the buildup of plaque. Because of this, there are certain times in a woman’s life where she may be prone to gum disease or other issues.
What Puts a Woman at Risk for Dental Issues?
Our Hasbrouck Heights general dentist has pinpointed five specific events in a woman’s life in which hormones may negatively impact your oral health: puberty, menstruation, when taking birth control pill, pregnancy and menopause.
With the sudden burst of estrogen and progesterone in the body this can actually boost blood flow to the gums and cause the gums to become more sensitive to plaque. As a result you may notice that gums are a little more swollen or red. You may even notice some bleeding while flossing.
With the increase in hormones, most specifically progesterone, you may notice swollen or bleeding gums, canker sores or even swollen salivary glands. Known as menstruation gingivitis, this issue often happens a couple days before your period but will go away after your period begins.
Birth Control Pills
Since many birth control pills contain progesterone, you may be more likely to deal with red, inflamed gum tissue that may be particularly sensitive to plaque buildup. Be sure to let us know if you are taking oral contraception.
A lot changes during pregnancy, particularly your hormone levels. Women who are pregnant are at a greater risk of developing gum disease, particularly within the second to eighth-month range. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis, and as a result we may recommend that you come in more often for routine cleanings and exams to reduce your chances of developing gum disease.
The hormone fluctuations that happen during menopause, the oral changes that occur as you get older and any medications you may be taking for chronic health conditions can all affect your oral health. You may be more sensitive to hot or cold foods, you may be susceptible to dry mouth (which can increase decay and gum disease). You may also suffer from bone loss or receding gums, as a result of a decrease in estrogen. This is why it’s so important that you always keep up with your routine dental visits.
As you may be able to see, it’s important that you keep up with those six-month dental cleanings to make sure that you are getting the dental care you need when you need it most. If it’s time for your next cleaning, call our Hasbrouck Heights, NJ dental office today.
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