Women and Periodontal Health

During a woman’s life natural hormonal changes will affect tissue throughout the body. Varying levels of hormones will occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. These are times where the risk of developing periodontal disease can increase. This is why it is critical to maintain strong oral care especially during these times.

Puberty

With puberty comes boosted levels of sex hormones, which can actually increase gum sensitivity. This can cause further irritation from plaque and tartar as well as food particles. This may make gums inflamed, tender and red.

Menstruation

There can sometimes also be similar symptoms days before menstruation begins. Gums may bleed, sores on the inside of the cheek and red inflammation between the gums and teeth can occur. These symptoms usually taper off as menstruation starts.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings a lot of change to a woman’s body, and the mouth is no exception. From the second month to the eighth month of pregnancy gums may become red, tender, swollen and even bleed. Lumps may develop in reaction to irritants. Fortunately these are usually non cancerous and painless. They may however need to be removed professionally or they can disappear after the child is born. Strong oral care should be an essential part of prenatal care. This is because any infections, including those of a periodontal nature, can negatively affect the child. To learn more take a look at our section called pregnancy and periodontal disease under the mouth body connection tab on this website.

Oral contraceptives

Oral contraceptives are synthetic hormones and as a result can cause symptoms like, the tenderness, swelling and bleeding of gum tissue. It is important to mention any and all prescriptions that you are taking, including oral contraceptives, to your doctor or dentist before any treatment. This will prevent drug interactions, for example contraceptives being rendered less effective by antibiotics.

Menopause

Menopause brings even more change to a woman’s body including the mouth. The mouth may feel and look different both during and after menopause. This may consist of pain or burning in the gums, dry mouth, and salty or peppery tastes. Effective oral care both at home and at the dentist can mitigate these symptoms. For example there are saliva substitutes to help treat the effects of dry mouth.

Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof.  For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.