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For women, when the body secretes additional hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, it causes more blood flow to the gum tissues? This opens the gums up to sensitivity to whatever is irritating them. During hormonal shifts, women are more sensitive to the dental plaque and bacteria that attach to the gums. This causes the gums to inflame, swell, and bleed. If the gums are chronically inflamed this may incur a bone loss and eventually tooth loss from this chronic inflammation of the gums.

Women experience hormonal shifts throughout their lives, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with gum disease along the way. You simply need to practice good oral hygiene every day, consume a healthy, balanced diet, and see your dentist for treatment.

Be especially mindful of your smile during these times:

Puberty: this hormonal shift can result in the oral tissues swelling, reddening, bleeding, and may invite canker sores.

Menses: in the days before a period, the gums may be swollen or bleeding, canker sores may erupt, and even the salivary glands may become swollen.

Oral Contraceptives: these forms of birth control can make one vulnerable to dry socket after a tooth is extracted. Dry socket is a painful condition where a blood clot doesn’t develop like it should in the tooth socket, or when a blood clot is dislodged.

Pregnancy: this is a time when the hormones are in full swing. The gums are particularly vulnerable now and may cause the gums to redden, become tender and sore.

Menopause: during this phase of a woman’s life, the hormones may cause an altered sense of taste, a sensation of burning in the mouth along with increased sensitivity. This can result in dry mouth and jaw bone loss. The lower levels of saliva production prevent the rinsing away of oral bacteria which lead to cavities. Decreased estrogen in menopause places you at risk for jawbone density loss. As a result, gum recession allows more of the tooth to be exposed which may lead to cavities.

If you are concerned about your gums, please call 208-788-2006 today to seek treatment with our dentist, Dr. Danton Bradshaw. Our Snowy River Dental team in Bellevue, Idaho is happy to help you maintain your healthy smile!