IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN FEMALE HORMONES AND GUM HEALTH?
Yes, there is a link between hormones in women (such as, estrogen and progesterone) and periodontal, or gum, disease. During the major stages of a woman's life (menopause, pregnancy, and puberty), significant changes in hormone production can alter your oral health, specifically your gums. For women in Highlands Ranch, CO it's important to be conscious of how your hormones affect your gums and what you can do to avoid problems. In this article by our team at Rock Canyon Dental Care, we discuss the time periods where women are prone to periodontal, or gum, disease and how you can strengthen your oral health. Focusing on the health of your gums can help you avoid problems like a receding gumline and loose teeth caused by gingivitis and periodontitis (the two stages of gum disease). If you have any concerns, questions, or issues about your gum health, we encourage you to contact our dental practice in Highlands Ranch, CO to schedule an oral health examination and consultation with our knowledgeable team of dental professionals.
LIFE STAGES WITH HORMONE CHANGES AND GUM HEALTH RISKS
There are three main life stages when a woman's hormones fluctuate significantly and negatively impact her oral health. These are menopause, pregnancy, and puberty. Using synthetic hormone-based birth control methods can also disrupt your gums. Being cautious of when to expect gum sensitivity and inflammation may help you worry less if you detect that your gums are red or bleeding a little at certain times. Nevertheless, you should communicate all concerns to your dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO so they can find out if your symptoms are correlated to hormone fluctuations or periodontal (gum) disease.
- BIRTH CONTROL-RELATED GUM RISKS
Methods of birth control that are hormone based for women (typically, taken as pills or an injection) can affect your oral health. The synthetic hormones used to prevent pregnancy can lead to inflammation in your gums and temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Tell your dentist about any prescription birth control methods you are using and talk to your prescribing doctor about trying different medications or methods if your current birth control is making your gums swollen, tender, or bleed easily.
- PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS
Like the onset of puberty, pregnancy is another time in a woman's life when there is an increase in hormone production. High levels of progesterone, especially during the second and third trimester, put women at higher risk of gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease.
- MENOPAUSE GUM PROBLEMS
During perimenopause and menopause, many women experience physical changes as their hormone production slows. One common problem during perimenopause and menopause is a dry mouth. Decreased saliva production means less debris and plaque are cleaned away naturally throughout the day, which can lead to gum disease. If you are experiencing dry mouth, make sure you are drinking plenty of water and try using a mouthwash formulated to help reduce the symptoms of dry mouth.
- PUBERTY GUM SENSITIVITY
Within the first stages of puberty and throughout the teenage years, women have a surge in hormone production. This can create increased blood flow to the gum tissue, producing tender, inflamed, and red gums. Gum sensitivity can continue to be a concern for a handful of days before a woman's period has started as a symptom of PMS (premenstrual syndrome).
WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY GUM HEALTH?
If you have noticed problems with your gums are related to your menstrual cycle or other fluctuations in your endocrine system, there are plenty of ways to help boost your gum health. You need a home oral care routine with daily brushing and flossing along with regular visits to a dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO for oral health examinations and professional cleanings. If you're still concerned about your gums, speak to your dentist so they can give you personalized recommendations.
- DAILY FLOSSING
Whether you choose to floss before or after brushing your teeth, make sure you are flossing at least once a day. If you are new to flossing, your gums may be a little sore and bleed at first; however, your gums will be much healthier in the long run and less tender.
- BI-ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DENTAL CLEANINGS
While brushing and flossing at home every day is very important, a professional dental cleaning removes buildup in areas that you may miss on your own. During your cleaning, a dental hygienist uses special tools to carefully remove built-up plaque and tartar without damaging your enamel.
- ANNUAL ORAL HEALTH EXAMINATIONS
To help catch gum problems in the early stages, make sure you are scheduling an oral health examination at least once a year. When problems like gingivitis are diagnosed early, you have less invasive treatment options, like scaling and root planing (SRP) therapy, instead of periodontal surgery.
- TALK TO YOUR DENTIST
If you have concerns about the health of your gums or you want to make sure you are brushing and flossing correctly, talk to your dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO. Be sure to tell your dentist about any medications or supplements you are taking, as well as any medical conditions or general health concerns.
- BRUSH TWICE A DAY
Using a soft-bristled brush, gently brush your teeth and gums at least twice a day at home. This will help to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Massaging your gums with the toothbrush will help to stimulate blood circulation in the tissue, which will make them stronger and healthier.
KEEP YOUR GUMS HEALTHY AT ALL LIFE STAGES
No matter your age, make sure your gums are strong and healthy. Schedule an oral health examination at a dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO to make sure you don't have periodontal (gum) disease. If you are looking for a wonderful team of dental professionals who are experienced in gum treatments like scaling and root planing (SRP) therapy and periodontal surgery, contact Rock Canyon Dental Care to schedule an oral health examination and consultation. We are always happy to help a new patient restore their oral health, so they can have a better smile with healthier gums.