Oral health

 

Women have unique oral health concerns. Changing hormone levels during your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause can raise your risk of problems in your mouth, teeth, or gums. Health issues such as diabetes can also affect your oral health. Regular brushing, flossing, and dentist visits can help prevent disease in your mouth and the rest of your body.

Oral health problems, such as gum disease, might be a sign that you have other health problems. Gum diseases are infections caused by plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If left untreated, the bacteria in plaque can destroy the tissue and bone around your teeth, leading to tooth loss. The bacteria can travel throughout your body and make you sick. Infections in your mouth can also affect your unborn baby if you are pregnant.

Flossing removes plaque between your teeth, a place that you can't reach by brushing. You can also remove this plaque with tools other than floss

Your dentist may suggest that you come more often if you have a health problem such as diabetes or a weakened immune system. These health problems can make you more likely to develop gum disease or other dental diseases.

When your hormone levels change, your gums can get swollen and irritated. Your gums may also bleed, especially during pregnancy, when your body's immune system is more sensitive than usual. This can cause inflammation (redness, swelling, and sometimes pain) in the gums. Regular, careful brushing and flossing can lessen gum irritation and bleeding.

Other causes of changing hormone levels that may affect your oral health include:

Your menstrual cycle

Hormonal birth control

Menopause

Hormone levels go up and down throughout your menstrual cycle. During ovulation and a few days before you start your period, higher levels of the hormone progesterone may cause swelling in your gums. Your gums may be red and bleed more than usual.

Loose teeth. 

The tissue supporting your teeth may loosen during pregnancy since many of your joints and tissues loosen in preparation for childbirth. Taking good care of your mouth can help prevent tooth loss.

Wearing down of your tooth enamel. 

If you have morning sickness that causes vomiting, the stomach acid that comes up during vomiting can erode tooth enamel

Severe gum disease.

Changing hormone levels during pregnancy can make gum disease worse or lead to severe gum disease in as many as 2 in 5 pregnant women.5 Periodontitis is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place.