How Hormonal Changes Affect Your Gum Health
You know that your hormones affect your mood, your weight and your sex drive. But did you know that they can also affect your dental health? So what can you do to prevent this? There are a few key times to be aware of when you might be at greater risk of gum problems.
Estrogen and progesterone can cause more blood to flow to your gums, making them more susceptible to plaque bacteria. This can cause the gums to become inflamed, swell and bleed easily – and if left untreated can eventually lead to gum disease and bone loss around the teeth.
Puberty is the first time that these hormonal changes really kick in, leading to red, swollen and bleeding gums. The key is good oral hygiene – brushing twice per day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing daily. This will help to reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria, and keep the gums healthy.
Most women don’t really notice any changes with their mouth before or during their period, but occasionally this might be a problem, so again – good oral hygiene is the key.
The normal hormonal changes during pregnancy can actually increase your chances of dental problems. Hormonal changes can make your gums more susceptible to plaque bacteria, leading to bleeding gums or gingivitis. It most commonly occurs between the second and eighth months of pregnancy, and good oral hygiene is the key. Don’t forget to visit your dentist early during pregnancy to keep on top of any possible problems.
Menopause can be a big change, and some women may experience a range of dental issues, including increased sensitivity, altered taste or burning sensations in your mouth. A dry mouth can also be a concern, because saliva helps to protect against tooth decay, as well as helping with speech and chewing.
If you experience any of these problems, then consult with your dental professional. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent against tooth decay – so an appropriate fluoride toothpaste is critical. Drinking lots of water can also help with a dry mouth.