Oral health is important for everyone, but especially women’s oral health as age, puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause and hormonal changes throughout life can cause dental problems.

Puberty and Gum Disease

Rodeo Dental explains that when girls reach puberty, sex hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone increase, which will cause more blood flow to the gums. This could lead to both irritation and sensitivity.

Teenage girls who have reached puberty could have an increased level of gum sensitivity causing a greater reaction regardless of the irritation; this includes plaque and food particles. During puberty, gums may feel tender, turn red, and become swollen and even bleed. Good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice and flossing once each day along with regular dental checkups and a healthy diet can help prevent gum damage.

Pregnancy

Hormone levels will rise if you are expecting. This causes changes to the gums including bleedings, swelling, and soreness.

Increased irritation can be caused from food trapped between your teeth, which could lead to gum disease. It is vital that you take care of your teeth and gums if you are pregnant, as gum disease has been linked to low birth weight and premature babies.

If you are planning a pregnancy, see your dentist beforehand to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy. Although routine dental work is okay during pregnancy, x-rays and other procedures are not. You will want to schedule a checkup before you get pregnant if possible. If you are already expecting, an appointment is still just as imperative. Just make sure you tell your dentist that you are pregnant.

Menstruation

Known as menstruation gingivitis, this temporary irritation or inflammation of the gums is caused by a change in hormone levels. Menstruation gingivitis usually lasts about a week and is gone when the cycle begins. Some of the symptoms of menstruation gingivitis include swollen and red gums, and occasional canker or mouth sores. If you or someone you know is experiencing this issue every month or if the gingivitis lasts more than a week, schedule an appointment with your dentist as it may be signaling a more serious dental problem.

Menopause

Some women may be affected by a condition known as menopausal gingivostomatitis. This condition is a mouth and gum infection that causes gums to appear shiny or dry. Menopausal gingivostomatitis can also cause bleeding gums and a change in color. If your gums appear deep red or abnormally pale, you could be suffering from menopausal gingivostomatitis. Menopause can also cause additional oral health changes including burning or pain in your mouth or gums, dry mouth or changes in taste. See your doctor if you are experiencing any of these issues as estrogen supplements may be recommended.

Everyone’s oral health is important, but especially women’s, and if you haven’t been to the dentist in quite some time, call or click and schedule an appointment today.