Life Stages: How Hormone Changes Are Related to Poor Gum Health

Up close photograph of woman’s mouthHormonal fluctuations can cause increased blood circulation to the gums, resulting in gingivitis. Because this condition can cause heightened sensitivity, the gums may react more severely to irritants, such as plaque, food, and debris.

During times of hormone shifts, it is important to develop a hygiene regimen that will help you maintain optimal oral health. At our Orland Park, IL dental practice, Dr. Yamen Akhras offers a variety of dental services, including periodontal therapy.

Here, we discuss poor gum health and hormone changes, and how you can keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.

Puberty

The surge of hormones present during puberty can lead to gingivitis, which is characterized by swollen, tender, bleeding gums. The brushing and flossing habits of teenagers can sometimes exacerbate this issue, resulting in gingival overgrowth.

Teens who consume sugary foods without brushing afterward are more prone to this issue. During this time, it is important to instill good hygiene habits and attend routine dental cleanings.

Menstruation

Many women experience gum sensitivity, swelling, or bleeding a few days before their period. Typically, these symptoms dissipate after the menstrual flow begins.

However, it is important to pay extra attention to the teeth and gums during this time to minimize oral inflammation. It must be noted that women who are taking birth control may experience decreased immune system functioning, which could affect the health of the oral cavity.

Pregnancy

Gingivitis is quite common during pregnancy. In fact, approximately 60 to 75 percent of all pregnant women report it. The hormones in the body during this time can exacerbate the inflammatory response to irritants such as food, plaque, and debris. Therefore, the gums may bleed more easily during this time period.

Menopause

Night sweats, hot flashes, and other symptoms are well-known during menopause. However, many women also experience oral pain or discomfort, reporting burning sensations, dry mouth, and changes in taste. If dry mouth is among the symptoms, it should be addressed as soon as possible. If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Periodontal Treatment during Hormonal Fluctuations

Gingivitis can be reversed with proper treatment. That is why it is so important to treat these symptoms as soon as they arise. If you are experiencing gingivitis, the first thing you should do is schedule a consultation with Dr. Akhras. He can help you determine a treatment plan that will effectively meet your needs. He may recommend a procedure called scaling and root planing, which is an effective non-surgical treatment for gum disease.

You may simply require regular dental cleanings more often. Although many dental patients receive their cleanings every six months, those who are more prone to certain dental issues, such as gum disease, may necessitate more frequent visits. Many of our patients who are predisposed to gingivitis and periodontitis receive cleanings every three or four months. This helps keep bacteria levels at a manageable level, so your oral hygiene at home will be more effective, as well.

Learn More about Our Periodontal Services

If you think you may be experiencing gingivitis due to changes in hormones, schedule a consultation with Dr. Akhras. At Premier Dental & Implant Center, we can help you design an oral healthcare regimen that will keep your smile healthy and looking great. To reach a team member, call us at (708) 873-9709 or contact us online anytime.