Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hormonal Imbalance Of Women & The Effects On Oral Hygiene

Hormonal fluctuations are a part of being a woman, but you may be surprised to know that hormones can affect a woman’s dental health. Depletions of the normal amount, or surges of an over-abundance of varying hormones can dictate the body’s response to toxins from plaque buildup on the teeth. This can translate to higher instances of gum disease.

Hormonal imbalances can happen at any point in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, these imbalances can make a woman more susceptible to oral health issues. Here’s an overview:
  • Beginning at puberty, progesterone and estrogen surges can occur. This increases blood flow to the gums, leading to a rise in gum disease risk.
  • When woman is at a completely different phase in life when they become sexually active, progesterone-based birth control pills can have the same sort of hormonal affect. Gum tissue can become inflamed as the body’s response to plaque is exaggerated.
  • When menstruation begins, swollen gums and salivary glands are a potential monthly battle for years to come.
  • Pregnancy presents a particular rollercoaster when it comes to hormones. Even the most experienced OB/GYN is bound to tell you that each woman’s reaction to pregnancy will likely be unpredictable. Many pregnant women do end up dealing with gum disease between the second and eighth months.
  • Menopause can bring with it dry mouth, which can heighten risks for tooth decay. Bone density is also at risk for decreasing, which can lead to gum recession.
To avoid issues of gum disease as a result of hormonal shifts, brush and floss diligently. Choose a tooth paste that contains fluoride, and seek an antibacterial mouthwash recommendation from your dentist. Visit your dentist twice a year for a dental exam and cleaning. Avoid complex carbohydrates and sugar to reduce plaque production. If your saliva production is substantially low, and extra hydration isn’t alleviating the issue, ask your dentist about other possible treatments for dry mouth.

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