Hormonal surges and fluctuations aren’t something we can control. Unfortunately, they come with side-effects throughout our lives. You may experience mood swings, bloating, blemishes, or any number of unpleasant physical and emotional manifestations of hormones. You may not realize that oral health issues can also be linked to cyclical hormone changes – namely gum disease and other periodontal issues. Your Des Moines dentist, Dr. Stephen Burds, explains the relationship between hormonal imbalances and a woman’s oral health.
Gum Disease from Hormonal Surges
When a young woman reaches puberty, progesterone and estrogen begin to produce at a higher level, which can increase blood flow to gums, leading to an exaggerated response to plaque and tartar build-up. During menstrual cycles throughout a woman’s reproductive years, salivary glands and gingival tissues can become irritated and inflamed. Women who are prescribed progesterone-based birth control (the pill, for example) sometimes experience puffy gums. During pregnancy, hormones and oral health often go haywire. The hormonal changes that go along with carrying a baby make gum disease more prevalent in pregnant women. At a later stage of life, menopause (along with medications that are prescribed as aging brings various maladies) can cause dry mouth and a decrease in bone density that might cause gum recession.
Proper Oral Hygiene Can Battle Hormone Related Gum Disease
Women can still avoid gum disease, regardless of shifts in hormone levels. Being proactive with good oral hygiene and six-month checkups from your dentist can keep you free of extreme plaque and tartar build-up. If hormones are causing extra problems with your teeth and gums, more frequent visits to the dentist might be in order while your body balances out. Never ignore dry mouth, since saliva is a key element in keeping the mouth free of excess bacteria. No matter what the cause (medications, hormones, or dehydration) if saliva production becomes substantially low, your dentist can suggest possible treatments to help keep teeth and gums healthy.
Visit Your Des Moines Dentist
If you are concerned with gum disease, your Des Moines dentist is here. At Gateway Dental Group, we provide comprehensive dental care for our patients. Contact our 50309 dentist office by calling (515) 344-4131 to schedule an appointment today. We proudly serve patients from River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.