When it comes to oral health, the risks faced by men and women are not the same. Hormonal fluctuations cause women to be uniquely susceptible to gum disease in at least four stages of life. Even when all else remains unchanged, you or a woman you know may be confused by heightened vulnerability to certain conditions.
Red, swollen gums during puberty, menses, or pregnancy can be one result of hormone fluctuations. As the levels of estrogen and progesterone rise, blood flow to the gums increases and changes the way gums react to plaque. Women may experience bleeding during brushing and flossing, heightened sensitivity, or swelling of the gum tissue. Menstrual gingivitis can develop near the start of your period but also ends just as quickly while pregnancy gingivitis is a real cause of concern for many women any time during their term. Dry mouth can also develop during pregnancy as the composition and volume of saliva produced changes.
During menopause taste perception and burning sensations in the mouth may occur, which can lead to a host of other problems – eating disorders and self-induced vomiting being a few. Inform the women in your life of their increased susceptibility to certain oral conditions. For ladies, there is a lot on your mind during hormonal transitions, but don’t forget about your oral health!