Ladies: have you ever considered that there might be a correlation between hormonal changes and your oral health? Surprisingly, very few people are aware that female hormones can greatly impact what’s going on inside your mouth.
Different types of hormonal changes can affect the mouth in different ways. Whether it’s puberty, pregnancy or menopause, all of these changes can unknowingly wreck havoc on your teeth and gums. We are going to take you through the different hormonal-related oral issues that can arise throughout a woman’s life:
The surge in oestrogen and progesterone during puberty can lead to increased blood flow to the gums, which can cause them to overly react to plaque and other irritants. This reaction often results in red, tender and sore gums that bleed during brushing or flossing. Progesterone can also contribute to the increase of mouth ulcers during this time.
The old wives tale, ‘gain a child, lose a tooth’ may in fact be true. According to a recent study in the Netherlands, women with three children had four less teeth than women with two children, whilst the trend didn’t apply to the childrens’ fathers. One of the reasons for this oral decline in expectant mothers is the interference of calcium absorption caused by pregnancy hormones.
It doesn’t just stop at puberty and pregnancy – menopause is also a big cause of oral health issues in women. The fluctuation of hormones (particularly a drop in oestrogen levels) during this time can affect the salivary glands and cause a dry mouth. Without enough saliva, your teeth aren’t well protected against bacteria and plaque buildup, which can result in bad breath, tooth decay and even gum disease.
Worried? Don’t be!
Whilst some of these hormonal effects might seem scary, GDC Liverpool are always on hand to help and offer you any advice or treatment that could diminish the symptoms. Check out our general treatments page, or fill out our contact form here.