Hormones impact your mood, your health, and now your dental health?
Hormones are vital to a woman’s health — not only are they catalysts for many critical functions but they also play a role in dental health. And, it’s not until you really stop and think about your experiences that you realize how much they have been playing a role in the different stages of your development.
At Dr. Martin J. Schwartz, not only do we provide premier general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry services in NYC, but we are here as a resource to dive deeper into dental health. Join us as we connect how hormone’s impact women’s health.
Hormones and Dental Health
While more than half of the US population is diagnosed with gum disease, women tend to be more susceptible to it because of the role that hormones play.
As the hormones estrogen and progesterone flow through a woman’s body, as a result, it causes additional blood flow to your gums which can make them overly sensitive and easily irritated.
When hormone levels are high, women also become more sensitive to the bacteria and plaque surrounding their gums which causes inflammation, bleeding, and swelling. If left unaddressed, and the inflammation becomes chronic, it can manifest into bone loss and even tooth decay.
Hormones are a part of a woman’s life that will always be present but gum disease isn’t inevitable, and because women are more prone to it, it makes good dental health even more crucial.
The Hormone Stages
Pay attention to your cycle — are your teeth more sensitive at a certain point? Listen to this, this could be your hormones at play.
If you’ve ever been 100% positive you had a cavity and then scheduled a dental appointment and your exam came up healthy and cavity-free, this is great news, but it can be troubling for women, after all, we may be spending more money on dental care because our hormones are leading us astray!
The point to all of this is, if you think you have a cavity because you’re extra sensitive in certain teeth, consider waiting a week or two and see if it subsides. If it does, chalk it up to your hormones!
So, how do our hormones affect us differently in each stage of life? Let’s examine it below!
There are a couple of stages in a woman’s life that make us more exposed to gum health issues, so identifying them and be proactive in our dental health at home can better prevent gum disease.
Puberty – In puberty there is an influx of estrogen and progesterone, thus affecting the gum tissue in the gums. The blood flows more freely at this stage and with an increase, it can cause the gums to become tender, swollen, and more prone to bleeding during brushing and flossing.
Menstruation – Progesterone is particularly high during menstruation and typically women can experience an increased amount of canker sores, bleeding gums, swollen salivary glands, and irritated gums.
Birth Control – When birth control is taken, progesterone can make the teeth and gums more sensitive to the plaque-producing toxins and prone to inflammation.
Pregnancy – Apart from puberty, pregnancy is one of the stages where hormones drastically change, causing a surge in progesterone and leading to a gum disease called pregnancy gingivitis. This can occur at any time between the second month to even the end of a pregnancy.
Dental care is imperative in pregnancy because research has found that those with periodontal disease pre-pregnancy have a higher chance of not carrying to term and delivering early.
Menopause – Hormonal fluctuations with menopause can manifest as a burning mouth, the inability to taste certain foods, dry mouth, and sensitivities to hot and cold food and beverages.
Menopause also causes a sharp decline in estrogen, which impacts bone density and can affect your teeth and cause tooth loss and jaw issues is left unaddressed.
Elevating Dental Care Through the Stages
It seems like it’s little known information on how hormones affect women’s dental health and now that you have the information, it’s important to monitor and recognize your teeth and gums with every cycle.
Routine teeth cleanings are a vital part of a healthy smile so stay up-to-date with your bi-annual cleanings.
Pro tips for dental care in women:
- Schedule a cleaning the week after your period.
- Schedule oral surgery the days following your period.
- Be diligent about brushing and flossing every day!
Maintaining optimal is critical for everyone, however for women, it’s extremely important because of the increased risk of gum disease we face as a result of our hormones.
To learn how we can help or schedule a cleaning, call today!