Hormones and Your Gums

Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on Oct 23 2020, 09:41 AM

Hormones and Your Gums

If you’re a woman, you most likely are familiar with hormonal changes throughout the month and throughout your lifetime. These fluctuations can cause temporary changes throughout the body, such as acne and water retention. But hormonal changes can also affect another area of the body: the mouth. Yes, it’s true! Your hormones can affect your gums, causing swelling, bleeding, and sensitivity.

So, why do hormones affect your mouth? It has to do with the gingiva (gums) in the mouth, which can be easily irritated by hormonal fluctuations. The gums may be more swollen and tender and may bleed more easily than times when hormones are not surging.

The natural instinct when our gums bleed may be to stop brushing or flossing, but experts say this is a bad idea, as swollen gums are more likely to let in harmful bacteria that can cause gingivitis and periodontitis. Rather than stopping brushing, experts recommend you continue to brush and floss and use a mouthwash designed for gum care. They also recommend you visit your dentist regularly and discuss any hormonal changes in your oral health.

Other times you may experience hormonal fluctuations in the mouth is during pregnancy and menopause. During pregnancy, it is common to develop pregnancy gingivitis, which usually peaks around the third trimester and goes away on its own after the end of the pregnancy.

Menopausal oral health changes should be monitored closely because as we age we often experience bone loss, which can cause receding gums, which can in turn cause gum disease. Gum disease, as you may know, can lead to many problems ranging from tooth and bone to worsening other systemic problems including some cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.

Ultimately, if you have hormonal changes in your oral health, it’s nothing to panic about. Take care of your teeth the same as you would if you had no changes in your gums, and your hormonal gum changes should subside as your hormonal peaks settle down.

If you find that your gums are still inflamed and you are not experiencing any hormonal shifts, speak to Dr. Abelar, as it could be the sign of another issue that is not hormone-related.

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