It’s Women’s Health Week (5-11th September) and at Maven Dental we’re reminding all women that it’s ok to put themselves first, especially when it comes to great oral health! Chances are you’ve blamed your hormones for a skin breakout or an emotional outburst however, have you ever considered that your hormones may also be to blame for changes inside your mouth? To celebrate Women’s Health Week, we sat down with Maven Dental’s Clinical Advisor, Alison Coates to discuss women’s dental health further.
“As women, the hormone levels of both our progesterone and estrogen fluctuates at different stages of the month and life in general. That can bring about inflamed gums (gingivitis) and can lead to increased risk of periodontal disease. During stages such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause it’s important that additional care for your oral health is taken as these life events all come with major hormonal surges that can have an impact on your oral health.”
During puberty, your body is going through several physical changes and, there’s just as much going on at a chemical level! With an increased amount of estrogen and progesterone, more blood than usual is sent to your gums causing them to be more sensitive to plaque build-up and susceptible to irritation from food particles. It’s a condition that is sometimes referred to as puberty gingivitis leaving you with red, swollen gums that are prone to bleeding.
Menstrual Cycle and Oral Contraceptive Pills
As you know by now, even a small change in your hormones can lead to major physical changes in your body, this is the same for women going through their monthly cycle and for those who take the oral contraceptive pill.
Although not all women experience menstrual gingivitis, it is a common condition experienced during menstruation causing your gums to swell and bleed. These oral changes are likely to clear up on their own either by the time your cycle starts or by the time it ends. Unless symptoms do not disappear, it is recommended to continue with your at home oral health care routine.
You may also be aware that women who take the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) could be at risk of dental problems such as gingivitis and poor periodontal health. This is a result of the estrogen and progesterone hormones levels that are in ‘the pill’ which have been linked to an increase in inflammation in the gums.