Female Hormones & Dental Health

Did you know that the hormones in your body can affect your dental health? During different stages in a woman’s life, hormone level can naturally fluctuate. Hormones can change the way blood flows to the gums and connective tissues in the mouth.  In order to keep up with your dental hygiene, it’s important to schedule a dentist appointment at least every six months and sometimes more often during pregnancy.

 

Birth Control Pills

 

Certain hormonal birth control pills can contain a higher amount of progesterone than your body naturally has. When progesterone increases, the body may react more strongly to the bacteria from the plaque on your teeth. Because of this heightened response, the gums become inflamed, and may bleed.

 

If you are taking oral contraceptives or any form of hormonal birth control, tell your dentist. Since you may be at a higher risk for inflamed gums (depending on the amount of hormones in the pills), make sure to take extra care of your dental health! Remember that it is important to floss everyday (before brushing for best results) and brush your teeth twice a day. If gum inflammation doesn’t let up, schedule a dental appointment for professional advice.

 

Pregnancy

 

During pregnancy, the female body produces an excess of progesterone to support the baby. As with birth control pills, the gums can become inflamed, red, swollen and easily bleed on contact. When this happens during pregnancy, it is referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis,” often treated with more frequent cleanings/visits to the dentist. Pregnancy gingivitis is most common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy, so diligent dental hygiene is recommended to prevent it.

 

Menopause

After a woman is past her child-bearing years, her period stops, and the body goes into a transition called menopause. Menopause varies in symptoms, but some women can experience hot flashes, mood swings, and dental symptoms such as dry mouth, altered taste, and sensitivity to hot and cold. Dry mouth can increase the risk for cavities, since saliva helps to wash away bacteria from the teeth.

 

Estrogen and Bone Loss

 

The hormone estrogen generally decreases as well, leading to a loss in bone density. When bone loss occurs, the gums may recede, exposing more of the tooth to bacteria that cause tooth decay. Therefore, bone loss contributes to tooth decay and tooth loss.

 

Dental Health Recommendations

Whether you are taking birth control pills, are pregnant or going through menopause, dentists recommend that you take the following precautions:

 

  • Speak to your doctor about increasing supplements for strong bones such as calcium and vitamin D.
  • Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Keep up with dental hygiene by making more frequent visits to the dentist if necessary.
  • Don’t forget to keep up with flossing daily and brushing your teeth twice a day!

 

Advanced DDS is a dental office in Garden City, NY with state-of-the-art technology to provide patients with the highest quality of care. Schedule your dental appointment at 516-825-1100.

 

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