Cobblestone Park Family Dental

Hormones and Oral Health for Women

A teen, a pregnant woman, and a middle-aged woman smiling

From childhood to hitting puberty, getting pregnant, and eventually going through Menopause – a woman’s body is always changing thanks to hormones. But what does this have to do with oral health? As it turns out, a lot!

Hormone fluctuations in a woman’s body (estrogen and progesterone) causes more blood flow to the gums, which causes them to become hyper-sensitive to irritation such as plaque and bacteria. The natural surges in hormones make women more susceptible to dental health issues, such as gum disease. We’re here to help you protect against disease through every stage of your life!

Puberty

As we all know, hormones during your teenage years are rapidly changing and fluctuating, and can oftentimes leave a young woman’s gums red, swollen and bleeding and can even form canker sores.

How can you prevent this naturally formed irritation? Simple! Ensure a consistent brushing schedule, twice a day, with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing at least once a day, with regular dentist check-ups! By making these habits, the chance for plaque and bacteria buildup is limited, which will reduce inflammation.

Pregnancy

Getting pregnant is a huge milestone in life for a woman, and her hormones as well!

During this period, the female body goes through rapid change and puts itself into a “hormone hyperdrive”. Some women find that they develop gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, during the second or third trimester of their pregnancy, which causes irritation and inflammation of the gums.

Visiting your dentist is a crucially important and safe way to check up on your oral health while being pregnant. You may want to even schedule cleanings on a more frequent basis, especially during the mid to latter parts of your pregnancy, along with daily brushing, flossing, and overall care of your entire body!

Menopause

As a woman reaches maturity, there are many changes that occur in life and in the oral cavity, including a changed sense of taste, burning sensations, and an overall increased sensitivity, all related to hormones. Women going through menopause should be aware of side effects like dry mouth and bone loss, which can make you more at risk for cavities.

To counteract Menopause induced dry mouth, it’s helpful to remain hydrated, and also use toothpaste with fluoride to reduce the risk of tooth decay. You might also want to avoid eating salty, spicy, sticky and sugary foods, along with foods that are dry and hard to chew. Alcohol and caffeine can also make dry mouth worsen, so try to stay away!

When it comes to losing bone, specifically in your jaw, it’s likely that you might experience tooth loss thanks to a reduced amount of estrogen in your body, which puts women at risk for a loss of bone density. Be sure to talk to your dentist, and see them regularly, to ensure you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D to protect your bones.

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