When it comes to oral health, women face unique challenges due to their hormonal cycles. Hormonal cycles in women affect how their bodies react to plaque and bacteria on their teeth and gums. It’s important for a woman to understand the relationships between hormones and her oral health so she can address any concerns before they develop into a serious dental issue.
Gums and Hormonal Cycles
During puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy, progesterone and estrogen levels increase and this can cause an increase in gum sensitivity. Some women experience swollen gums and bleeding right before menstruation, a condition called menstruation gingivitis. While this may clear up quickly, it may require additional oral health diligence. During pregnancy, some women experience more serious gingivitis that can lead to non-cancerous oral tumors. Pregnant women need to maintain regular dental appointments to treat any hormone related issues. Another factor that only women have to deal with is that oral contraceptives increase hormone levels and can lead to vulnerability to gum disease and tooth sensitivity. Hormonal fluctuations during menopause can cause oral health issues for women such as dry mouth that can increase the risk of tooth decay.
Additional Oral Health Issues Affecting Women
Temporomandibular Disorder, called TMD or TMJ Disorder, is something that women are twice as likely as men to suffer as it’s usually caused by teeth grinding or teeth clenching. TMJ Disorder can strain the jaw joint and damage teeth without treatment. Continued research suggests a potential link between HPV and oral cancer, and as women are the only ones with a test for HPV at this point, it’s important that they undergo regular oral cancer screenings. Women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than their male counterparts, and this condition can lead to jawbone loss and periodontal disease issues.
The Good News
Despite the issues hormones can cause with women’s oral health, women are much better at taking care of their teeth and gums than men. Maintaining great dental health habits reduces the risk of teeth and gum issues and studies show that women:
- Consistently have regular dental checkups
- Have better attitude toward dental health
- Have great personal dental habits
With a better awareness of the effects of hormones on their body, women can take a much more proactive role in maintaining the health of their teeth and gums. A great, healthy smile can be a woman’s best accessory, and it helps boost her mood while giving a positive first impression.
If you’re a woman with concerns about your dental health, contact our understanding professionals at Dupont Dental.