Hormones and oral health aren’t exactly two things that most people put together.
In our Armadale dentist’s experience however, there’s considerable overlap between the two!
It may surprise you to learn that hormonal fluctuations and changes are tied to your oral health, with regular fluctuations linked to a somewhat increased risk of oral health problems.
Women in particular are somewhat more prone to oral health problems owing to the unique hormonal fluctuations they experience, though indeed, anyone who experiences fluctuations is susceptible.
So what does it all mean?
How hormones can impact your oral health
Healthy gums and a beautiful smile – who wouldn’t want both?
There are many things you’ll need to keep on top of to get both of these things. For starters, you’ll need to:
- Brush twice a day
- Use the right toothbrush and toothpaste
- Visit our Armadale dental clinic regularly
Another thing you’ll need to be aware of however is the impact that your hormones can have on oral health.
Women experience many hormonal changes over their lives from puberty, to pregnancy, to menopause. Changes in one’s hormones play a critical – and often misunderstood – role in one’s oral health.
Certain hormones in particular (specifically progesterone and estrogen) are linked to gum infections and other periodontal diseases.
When hormone levels are high, women are more prone to plaque buildup and bacteria.
Once this happens, gums tend to bleed, swell and become irritated – left untreated, the condition can worsen and result in further issues such as:
- Gum inflammation
- Tooth loss
- Bone loss
Additionally, hormones also increase blood circulation to the gums, which translates to increased sensitivity – something that can make oral health issues like these even more pronounced.
High-risks for women
For most women, the risk is limited to a handful of stages in life where your hormone balance is dramatically altered from the baseline.
If one of these major life events is coming up in the near future, we recommend bringing it up with your Armadale dentist at your next dental appointment. They’ll be able to tell you what to expect, as well as what you can do to minimise your risk as these major milestones come up.
In addition to hormones, puberty also affects your oral health in other ways.
Puberty is a major growth period, with your jaw and mouth growing and developing throughout the process.
During this phase, your gums, teeth and jawbone are moving around and shifting – something that requires extra care and attention in order to ensure that your teeth come out the other side healthy and strong.
Our family dentists help you keep track of your child’s oral health, and can help you with advice to help maintain your child’s oral health throughout puberty.
Women often feel various changes in their mouth before their menstrual period. Such changes often include increased gum sensitivity, dry mouth and inflamed and bleeding gums.
Thankfully, in the vast majority of cases these symptoms are temporary and usually subside after the menstrual period. The vast majority of women have nothing to worry about on this front.
However, if you feel any unexpected changes and symptoms during your period, or if the issue persists after it’s over, we recommend consulting with your local dental clinic in Armadale, just in case.
Birth control pills
While this one may not be a major life event like the rest, it can still impact your oral health!
Birth control pills contain a mixture of different hormones that prevent ovulation – all these additional hormones have other effects, however.
Women who take birth control often experience a range of side effects – one of the lesser known ones is the impact it can have on one’s oral health.
Being on the pill can complicate certain dental procedures such as tooth removal, and has also been linked to issues such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
If you’re thinking about going on the pill, it might be a good idea to bring it up with your dentist in Armadale at your next appointment.
With the joy and excitement that comes with pregnancy, some women forget how important it is to visit a dentist, especially in the second and third trimester of your journey.
We’ve talked about the mouth-body connection before – essentially, this is the idea that because all your oxygen, water and food come in through the mouth, bad oral health can have flow-on effects for the rest of your body.
In addition to affecting your overall health and wellbeing, poor oral health during pregnancy can also negatively impact your baby’s too!
Whether you’re currently trying for a baby or have already fallen pregnant, we recommend booking a check-up with your Armadale dentist.
Women who are going through menopause don’t only experience extreme changes in their emotional and physical health, but in their oral health as well.
In addition to menopausal gingivitis and gum diseases (caused by changes in your hormone levels), menopause also comes with a decrease in estrogen levels.
This in turn can sometimes lead to bone loss, causing receding gums and tooth decay – and that’s in addition to the effects of ageing.
Are your gums and teeth in the clear?
Find out today – schedule a visit with your dentist in Armadale!
Taking care of your oral health throughout some of the major hormonal changes your body goes through over your life can help you avoid a range of oral health issues.
However, you don’t have to do it alone.
Our dentist in Armadale looks beyond how white your teeth are when assessing your oral health, taking a holistic approach towards your oral health.
That includes the impacts that hormones can have on your gum health.
Are your gums unexpectedly sensitive? Don’t wait for the discomfort to turn into pain – get in touch with an emergency dentist in Armadale today for comprehensive treatments for your oral health problems.