How Hormones Impact Oral Health

Hormones affect a considerable part of our lives. They play essential roles in our development, maturation, and susceptibility to some diseases and infections.

Hormonal changes in women make them more vulnerable to oral health conditions due to changes their bodies undergo from time to time.

Hormones causing these changes are estrogen and progesterone, which are used by the female’s body to manage the reproductive system and also directly affect the gum.

Women’s oral health is more vulnerable during these five stages of their lives.

1. Puberty

Puberty leads to an increase in the production of estrogen and progesterone. This increase can affect the blood flow to gums and change how the gum reacts to bacterial plaque.

The gum tissue may become red, tender, and in extreme cases, swollen gums prone to bleed during brushing or flushing. Some teenagers may experience canker sores, most of which heal independently.

2. Menstruation Period

The monthly period leads to an increase in progesterone which causes hormonal changes. Some women experience oral changes like bright red swollen gum, swollen salivary gland, canker sores, and bleeding gums.

Infections like menstruation gingivitis occur a day or two before the onset of the menstrual period and go during the cycle.

3. During Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings about a significant change in hormonal levels, mainly a rise in progesterone, affecting oral health.

Pregnancy gingivitis can occur anytime between the second and eighth month of pregnancy. Pregnant gingivitis causes the swollen gum and makes it bleed easily.

4. Oral Contraceptive

Birth control pills contain a sizable amount of progesterone which can affect the oral health of the women taking them.

This causes some sensitivity in the gums and causes them to overreact to plaque. However, newer oral contraceptives contain lower amounts of progesterone.

Birth control pills made of synthetic estrogen can impair the biological ability to produce estrogen, and decreased estrogen is linked with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and increased inflammation. TMJ is a jaw-related problem, including the surrounding muscles.

You should inform your dentist if you’re on oral contraceptives or any medication whatsoever. Some drugs can reduce the efficacy of other medicines, or interaction between them might put your health at risk.

5. At Menopause

Advanced age in women  is marked by the reduction in estrogen production, which causes significant changes, one of which is oral health. The oral changes during menopause include

  • Altered taste.
  • Burning sensation.
  • Hypersensitivity to temperate food and drinks.
  • Dry mouth caused by reduced saliva flow rate

A dry mouth can cause periodontal disease due to the lack of saliva to keep the mouth moist and clean and neutralize the acid secreted by the plaque.

How to Prevent Oral Health Problems

Oral health can be managed Irrespective of your gender and hormone levels. A preventative dentist Liverpool can solve your oral health problems.

The following tips can help with that;

  • Brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice daily and floss once daily.
  • Visit the dentist regularly for examination and tooth cleaning.
  • Eat a balanced diet and reduce sugary and starchy foods and drinks intake.
  • Estrogen therapy has been proven to reduce periodontal disease and tooth loss.