Hormonal Fluctuations and Poor Gum Health
By Chetan Patil, DDS PhD on November 13, 2018
Hormonal fluctuations are perfectly normal and are to be expected during certain life phases. Though these changes are typical, they can still increase your risk for periodontal disease and have a negative impact on overall gum health.
Periodontal care can prevent and treat problems caused by gum disease and preserve patients’ oral health during all of life’s phases. Here, we discuss hormonal fluctuations and poor gum health and offer recommendations for preventative care. To learn more, contact our Englewood, NJ practice.
In simple terms, hormones are chemicals that are created and secreted by various glands in the body. These chemicals help regulate a number of functions, including mood and behavior.
During certain life events, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, these hormones fluctuate frequently. As a result, certain changes may occur within the body.
How Hormones Affect the Gums
One common side effect of hormone fluctuations is the development of gingivitis and gum disease. Hormones do not cause gum disease, rather, they change the way the body responds to irritants along the gum line. When the gums are more easily inflamed, the risk for gum disease increases.
Common Hormonal Changes that Affect Periodontal Health
Hormone changes can affect men and women throughout the course of their lifetime. However, these fluctuations are far more widespread among women after the adolescent years. In the sections below, we will explore five common stages at which individuals are likely to experience changes in their gum health.
Both males and females can experience sore, tender, bleeding gums during puberty due to the surge of hormones. Young people are less apt to brush and floss properly. Therefore, it is important to make sure your child takes care of his or her teeth and gums during the adolescent years.
Progesterone, a key hormone in a woman’s reproductive health, helps trigger menstruation. This change can contribute to gum inflammation and soreness.
Additionally, hormone fluctuations can also result in a swollen salivary gland. This condition can lead to dry mouth, which only exacerbates tender gums.
During pregnancy, hormones are constantly changing. The risk of gum disease is increased during this time, particularly during the second and third trimester.
During menopause, the body does not produce as much estrogen and progesterone. As a result, women in this phase of life have a higher risk for developing dry mouth. As aforementioned, chronic dry mouth can further increase the risk of gum disease.
Birth Control Pills
Birth control medication regulates the menstrual cycle and prevents pregnancy through hormones. Due to this change, a woman’s risk of gum disease may be more pronounced.
How to Properly Manage Gum Health
Periodontal care is important for everyone, but especially those undergoing hormonal changes. Dental cleanings are an excellent way to keep harmful bacteria at bay. In fact, some patients can maintain proper gum health by simply visiting the dentist more often. While many patients have cleanings every six months, some individuals may require visits twice as often. Your dentist can help you determine how to best care for your gums during these life stages.
Contact Our Practice to Learn More
Do you have red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums? If so, gum disease is likely the culprit. Schedule a consultation today by calling (201) 567-7766. You can also contact us online anytime.
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