Consult with the Periodontal Experts in our Mississauga Clinic
OK ladies… I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that hormonal changes to your body throughout your life may put you at increased risk for periodontal disease. The good news is that the team at Periodontal Associates in Mississauga, which includes the amazing Dr. Quyen Su, are well-versed in assessing and treating periodontal disease in women.
Most women are surprised by the correlation between their hormonal health and dental health. When the team at Periodontal Associates in Mississauga consult with females aged 13 to 60, some of the first questions they ask have to do with hormonal health and recent changes. It matters.
While I could go into a complex explanation about the relationship between hormones and oral cavity micro flora, I will spare you. Instead, the simple answer is that during certain times of change for women – puberty, pregnancy and menopause – there is generally a higher probability that the body will experience irritation and inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most critical factors pointing to an increased risk of periodontal disease.
Let’s take a look at how some of the milestones in a women’s life may impact her dental health:
The Role of Hormones: Inflammation & Periodontal Disease During Puberty
As a young girl enters puberty, she is at an increased risk for developing periodontal disease due to the increased inflammation that affects the gums. During puberty, a higher level of hormones causes increased blood circulation to the gums, which could lead to sensitivity and susceptibility to irritation and that irritation often leads to the swelling of gums and potentially periodontal disease.
There is good news. Increased irritation generally subsides as a young lady moves through puberty.
The Role of Hormones: Pregnancy & Periodontal Disease in Mississauga
I had swollen gums that easily bled with each of my pregancies, so I know that pregnancy hormones absolutely can impact your dental health. Pregnancy gingivitis is the most common periodontal issue our experienced team assesses and treats at the clinic. Pregnancy gingivitis is typically caused by an increased level of progesterone in the system and is generally identified by increases sensitivity, swelling and bleeding of the gums during months two and three and continues until the eighth month. The good news is that symptoms usually subside in the ninth month and disappear following the birth process.
It is important to talk with your periodontal expert in Mississauga if you experienced swelling and bleeding of your gums before pregnancy as you might be at an increased risk. If your gums are in good health and didn’t experience any previous symptoms, you are less likely to have any problems.
The Role of Hormones: Symptoms of Periodontal Disease in Menopause & Post-Menopausal Women
Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may experience changes to their oral health, most notably discomfort including dry mouth, pain and a burning sensation in the gum tissue, and altered taste, especially salty, peppery or sour. This is referred to as menopausal gingivostomatitis.
While changes are not necessarily due to the hormone changes a woman is undergoing at this phase of her life, often the progesterone supplements prescribed are what leads to an increased sensitivity and irritation of the gums. The symptoms pointing to menopausal gingivostomatitis are gums that bleed, turn red and/or swell.
If you are diagnosed with menopause gingivostomatitis, our team of experienced periodontists can help you manage your condition.
Don’t ignore the signs of swollen gums and brush them off as “only hormonal.” Seek out the expertise of your local periodontal expert in Mississauga to identify the cause and possible treatment options to prevent periodontal disease before it hits or worsens. If not treated, the bone and tissues surrounding the teeth can be damaged, leading to more invasive treatment options such as dental implants, ridge preservation and bone grafting.