It is always important to pay attention to the health of the gums. If an individual notices that the gums are especially red or tender, or if there is blood present when a patient brushes or flosses, these could be early signs of gum disease. Although gum disease is preventable, it is a common condition that affects millions of Americans and leaves many in need of restorative dentistry treatment to repair dental damage.
While anyone can develop gum disease, there are certain health conditions that are known to increase the risk of this oral health complication. For instance, female hormone surges can greatly impact the health of the gums. Experienced dentist John Goodman can discuss hormone changes and gum health with his Kansas City, MO patients, as well as offer some oral health care tips to ensure that patients maintain healthy gum tissue despite the physical changes their body may be going through.
How Hormones Affect Gum Health
Most people are aware that hormone changes can affect mood, body weight, and the appearance of the skin, but few are aware of the link between hormone fluctuations and oral health. Female hormone surges can directly impact the health of the gums, and have been linked to an increased risk of gum disease. When the female body experiences surges in estrogen and progesterone, there is an increase of blood flow to the gums. This increase causes the gums to be extra sensitive to plaque and bacteria that may build up around the area. Some symptoms that may develop when a female is going through hormone changes include inflammation, tenderness, and bleeding of the gum tissues, all common signs of gum disease.
Times when a female may be especially vulnerable to these conditions include:
- During puberty
- During menstruation
- During pregnancy
- During menopause
Protecting the Gums from Hormone Changes
Although hormone changes do affect gum tissue and increase the risk of gum disease, it is still a preventable condition. With good oral hygiene habits, patients can preserver the health of the gums and prevent periodontal disease, no matter how much hormone levels may be changing.
The following are good habits for any individual, but are especially beneficial to females who are experiencing hormone changes:
- Brush regularly: It is important to brush at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Patients should ensure they clean all surfaces of the teeth, as well as the gum line.
- Floss: Brushing is great, but a toothbrush can’t always reach food that can get stuck between the teeth. Flossing is one of the best ways to ensure the gums stay free of plaque buildup. We recommend flossing at least once a day.
- Stay hydrated: Water keeps the mouth moist, which is a great self-cleaning mechanism. It is important to stay hydrated throughout the day, but it is especially helpful to drink water after meals, or when brushing is not possible.
- Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings: Even the best at-home oral hygiene habits are bound to leave behind some plaque and bacteria. Biannual dental exams and cleanings prevent buildup from becoming a problem and leading to more serious complications, such as tooth decay, infection, and gum disease.
If you are concerned about the health of your teeth or gums, Dr. John Goodman is here to help. Dr. Goodman offers a range of restorative dentistry treatments that can rebuild the health and strength of your teeth and gums. Contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about these services.