IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN FEMALE HORMONES AND GUM HEALTH?
Yes, in a nutshell there is a link between a woman's hormones (especially estrogen and progesterone) and periodontal, also known as gum, disease. During the various stages of the life of a woman (menopause, puberty, and pregnancy), big changes in hormone production can alter your oral health, specifically your gums. For women in High Point, NC it's important to be familiar with how your hormones affect your gums and what you can do to avoid problems. In this article by our team at DentalWorks - High Point, we discuss the time periods where women are susceptible to gum disease and how you can improve your oral health. Focusing on the health of your gums can help you avoid problems like a receding gumline and loose teeth as a result of gingivitis and periodontitis (the two stages of gum disease). If you have any questions or concerns about your gum health, we invite you to contact our dental practice in High Point, NC to schedule an oral health examination and consultation with our highly qualified team of dental professionals.
LIFE STAGES WITH HORMONE CHANGES AND GUM HEALTH RISKS
There are three main life stages when a woman's hormones fluctuate significantly and negatively impact her teeth and gums. These are pregnancy, puberty, and menopause. Using synthetic hormone-based birth control methods can also disturb your gums. Discerning when to expect gum sensitivity and inflammation may help you worry less if you see that your gums are red or bleeding a little at certain times. At any rate, you should talk about all concerns to your dentist in High Point, NC so they can identify if your symptoms are connected to hormone fluctuations or periodontal (gum) disease.
- PUBERTY GUM SENSITIVITY
During the initial stages of puberty and throughout the teenage years, women go through a surge in hormone production. This can stimulate increased blood flow to the gum tissue, causing tender, red, and inflamed gums. Gum sensitivity can continue to be an issue for multiple days before a woman's period has started as a symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- BIRTH CONTROL-RELATED GUM RISKS
Hormone-based contraceptives for women (typically, taken as pills or an injection) can affect your oral health. The synthetic hormones used to prevent pregnancy may lead to inflammation in your gums and jawbone. Tell your dentist or hygienist about any prescription birth control methods you are using and talk to your prescribing doctor about trying different medications or methods if your current birth control is making your gums swollen, tender, or bleed easily.
- MENOPAUSE GUM PROBLEMS
During perimenopause and menopause, many women experience physical changes as their hormone production slows. One common problem during perimenopause and menopause is a dry mouth. Decreased saliva production means less bacteria and plaque are cleaned away naturally throughout the day, which can lead to gum disease. If you are experiencing dry mouth, make sure you are drinking plenty of water and try using a mouthwash formulated to help reduce the symptoms of dry mouth.
- PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS
Like the onset of puberty, pregnancy is another time in a woman's life when there is an increase in hormone production. High levels of progesterone, especially during the second and third trimester, put women at higher risk of gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease.
WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY GUM HEALTH?
If you have noticed sensitivity or swelling of your gums are related to your menstrual cycle or other changes in your endocrine system, there are several ways to improve your gum health. You need a home oral care routine with daily brushing and flossing along with regular visits to a dentist in High Point, NC for oral health examinations and professional cleanings. If you're still concerned about your gums, speak to your dentist so they can give you personalized recommendations.
- BRUSH TWICE A DAY
Using a soft-bristled electric or manual toothbrush, gently brush your teeth and gums at least twice a day at home. This will help to remove bacteria and buildup that causes gum disease. Massaging your gums with the toothbrush will help to stimulate blood circulation in the tissue, which will make them stronger.
- ANNUAL ORAL HEALTH EXAMINATIONS
To help catch gum problems in the early stages, make sure you are scheduling an oral health examination at least once a year. When problems like gingivitis are diagnosed early, you have less invasive treatment options, like scaling and root planing (SRP) therapy, instead of periodontal surgery.
- PROFESSIONAL DENTAL CLEANINGS
While brushing and flossing at home every day is very important, a professional dental cleaning removes buildup in areas that you may miss on your own. During your cleaning, a dental hygienist uses special tools to carefully remove built-up plaque and tartar without damaging your enamel.
- TALK TO YOUR DENTIST
If you have concerns about the health of your gums or you want to make sure you are brushing and flossing correctly, talk to your dental team in High Point, NC. Be sure to tell your dentist about any prescription or over-the-counter medication you are taking, as well as any medical conditions or general health concerns.
- DAILY FLOSSING
Whether you choose to floss before or after brushing your teeth, make sure you are flossing at least once a day. If it's been a while since you flossed, your gums may be a little sore and bleed at first; however, your gums will get healthier and stronger over time.
KEEP YOUR GUMS HEALTHY AT ALL LIFE STAGES
No matter your age, make sure your gums are strong and healthy. Schedule an oral health examination at a dentist in High Point, NC to check for periodontal (gum) disease. If you are looking for a friendly team of dental professionals who are experienced in gum treatments like scaling and root planing (SRP) therapy and periodontal surgery, contact DentalWorks - High Point to schedule an oral health examination and consultation. We are always happy to help a new patient restore their oral health, so they can have a smile they love.