Women experience unique hormonal changes at different stages in life that may influence their oral health. By understanding these changes, you can practise good oral health habits that will keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Quick Facts About Women and Oral Health
- Puberty. The increase in female hormones can raise the blood flow to the gums and change the way gum tissue reacts to plaque, causing the gum tissue to become red, tender, swollen, and more likely to bleed during brushing and flossing.
- Menstruation. For some women, the hormonal changes that happen during the menstrual cycle may cause bright red swollen gums, swollen salivary glands, development of canker sores or bleeding gums. This usually occurs a day or two before the start of the period and clears up shortly after the period has started.
- Pregnancy.Hormone levels change considerably during pregnancy. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, may occur any time during the second to eighth month of pregnancy. Your dentist may recommend more frequent professional cleanings during your second or early third trimester to help reduce the chance of developing gingivitis. Tell your dentist if you are pregnant.
- Menopause. Many oral changes — altered taste, burning sensation in the mouth,greater sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages, decreased salivary flow that can result in dry mouth — may occur as a result of advanced age, the medications required to fight diseases and hormonal changes due to menopause.
To help protect your teeth and gums against oral disease and to maintain overall good health:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day
- Use toothpaste containing fluoride
- Limit sweets
- Visit your dentist regularly
Check out our to view videos.