IS THERE A LINK AMONG HORMONES AND GUM HEALTH?
The short answer is yes, there is a link between female hormones (including progesterone and estrogen) and periodontal (gum) disease. During the different phases of a female's life (puberty, pregnancy, and menopause), fluctuations in hormone generation can alter your oral health, specifically your gums. For females in Wake Forest, NC it's important to be aware of the way your hormones affect your gums and what you can do to avoid problems. In this article by our staff at DentalWorks - Wake Forest, we discuss the time periods where females are more likely to get to periodontal (gum) disease and how you can boost your oral health. Focusing on the health of your gums can help you avoid problems such as a receding gumline and loose teeth due to the two stages of gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis). If you have any questions about your gum health, please contact our dental office in Wake Forest, NC to schedule a dental examination and consultation with our experienced team of dental professionals.
LIFE STAGES WITH HORMONE CHANGES AND GUM HEALTH RISKS
There are a few life stages when a woman's hormones can change wildly and affect her dental health. These are puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Utilizing hormone-based contraceptive approaches can also affect your gums. Knowing when to expect gum inflammation and sensitivity can help you worry less if you notice your gums are red or bleeding a little at certain times. However, you should report all concerns to your dentist in Wake Forest, NC so they can determine if your symptoms are the result of hormone fluctuations or gum (periodontal) disease.
- GUM ISSUES DURING MENOPAUSE
In menopause and perimenopause, many women experience physical changes as their production of hormones slows. A typical problem during perimenopause and menopause is a dry mouth. Decreased saliva means less plaque and bacteria are naturally cleaned away during the day and this can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. If you are experiencing dry mouth, drink plenty of water and try using a mouthwash designed to help reduce the symptoms of dry mouth.
- GINGIVITIS DURING PREGNANCY
Similar to the onset of puberty, pregnancy is another time in a woman's life when there is an increase in hormone production. Increased production of progesterone, particularly in the second and third trimester, increase the risk of gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease.
- GUM PROBLEMS FROM BIRTH CONTROL
Hormone-based birth control for females (usually, taken as pills or an injection) can impact your oral health. The artificial hormones that prevent pregnancy can also cause swelling in your gum tissue and jaw. Talk to your dental team about any prescription birth control methods you're using and ask your doctor about alternate medications or methods if your method is making your gums swollen, tender, or bleed easily.
- GUM SENSITIVITY DURING PUBERTY
At the start of puberty and throughout the adolescent years, females experience a surge in the production of hormones. This can cause increased movement of blood to the gum tissue, which leads to red, tender, and inflamed gums. Gum sensitivity can be a worry for a few days before a woman's menstrual cycle has begun as a symptom of premenstrual syndrome (more commonly known as PMS).
HOW CAN I PREVENT GUM DISEASE?
If you have noticed issues with your gums are tied to hormone fluctuations, there are many ways to help improve your gum health. You need a home oral care routine with daily flossing and brushing along with regular visits to a dentist in Wake Forest, NC for annual exams and dental cleanings. If you are worried about your gums, talk to your dental team so they can give you suggestions.
- BRUSH TWICE A DAY
With a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently clean your gums and teeth at least twice a day. This will help to remove tartar, plaque, and bacteria that leads to gum disease. Giving your gums a quick massage with your toothbrush will help to stimulate blood flow in the soft tissue, which can make your gums healthier and stronger.
- ANNUAL DENTAL EXAMS
To help catch gum disease in the early stages, make sure you are scheduling a dental exam at least once a year. If issues like gum disease are diagnosed in the early stages, you have better treatment choices, for example, SRP therapy (scaling and root planing), instead of gum surgery.
- SPEAK TO YOUR DENTAL TEAM
When you are worried about your gums and you'd like to check that you're flossing and brushing properly, talk to your dentist or hygienist in Wake Forest, NC. Tell your dental team about any supplements or medications you're taking, plus any general health concerns and medical conditions.
- TWICE-YEARLY TEETH CLEANINGS
While flossing and brushing every day is very important, a professional dental cleaning addresses buildup in areas that you may miss on your own. In your cleaning, a hygienist will use professional equipment to remove built-up tartar and plaque without hurting your teeth.
- FLOSSING EVERY DAY
No matter whether you floss after or before brushing, be sure you're flossing at least once a day. If you haven't flossed in a while, your gums may bleed and feel a little sore initially, but your gums will eventually be less tender and much healthier.
KEEP YOUR GUMS HEALTHY AT ALL LIFE STAGES
No matter your age, keep your gums healthy and strong. Get an oral health exam by a dentist in Wake Forest, NC to ensure you don't have gum (periodontal) disease. If you're searching for a great team who are experienced in treatments such as SRP therapy (scaling and root planing) and periodontal surgery, reach out to DentalWorks - Wake Forest to schedule an oral health examination and consultation. We're happy to help a new patient restore their dental health, so they get a beautiful, healthy smile.