Dr Janhvi P. Mamtora
Smile Dental Clinic
Cosmetic and General Dentist
Periodontal diseases, commonly known as gum disease, are caused by dental plaque. Microorganisms or bacteria present in the plaque and the host response i.e. bodies reaction towards it, is responsible for initiation and progression of this disease. However, its severity depends on various factors such as age, gender, race, genetic constitution, oral hygiene habits and socio-economic status. Physiologic life of a female is way too different as compared to male. All thanks to the funny and weird molecules in us â€“â€œHORMONESâ€.
Estrogen and progesterone affect all the parts of a female body in general and reproductive system in particular. Thereâ€™s a strong relationship between healthy gums and the level of these hormones in the blood and gingival fluid.
Â It has also been reported that sex hormones make the gums more prone to diseases. SHOCKED!!! SURPRISED!!! Yes. They do
1.Â Â Â The gums become more sensitive, swollen and overreact to even mild irritation.
2.Â Â Â These hormones provide a conducive environment for bacteria to grow, suppress immunity and amplify blood flow to the gums.
These hormonal fluctuations are seen more during reproductive milestones like puberty, menarche, pregnancy, menopause, usage of oral contraceptive pills. However, this melodrama between hormones and gums can be completely prevented by taking more care towards oral hygiene, and in absence of dental plaque hormone cannot independently cause gum diseases.
LET US NOW KNOW HOW DIFFERENT STAGES OF LIFEÂ IS INFLUENCED BY HORMONES :
1)Â Â PUBERTY- Teenage girls may complain of sudden bleeding gums. Report to the dentist in case you have red swollen gums, softness , bleeding gums, or irritation in the mouth.
Treatment is preventing and treating the gums and the teeth through personal and professional plaque removal methods and some chemical mouthwashes.
Pubertal changes are also seen in boys but of lesser grade
2)Â Â MENARCHE- Beginning of the menstrual cycle is menarche. With the onset of menstruation in young girls, signs and symptoms of gum disease might set in which is called menstrual gingivitis. Here, along with bleeding gums, even mouth ulcers are very common and quite painful. Again blame is on- our HORMONES.
These conditions subside after the completion of the monthly cycle. But if it does not, let the dentist know, inform your dentist all these details and they will plan your appointment on days with moderate estrogen levels in the body.
TREATMENT - Needs mechanical and chemical plaque control measures, anesthetic gel application for ulcers.
3)Â Â PREGNANCY- Most beautiful part of being a woman â€¦ Isnâ€™t it?
But it also comes with a package of discomfort too. Here oral hygiene plays a very important role.
I have heard many patients complain atleast 1 tooth is lost during each pregnancy. But thatâ€™s just a myth.
Due to poor oral hygiene there is a reddish growth on gums called pregnancy tumor â€¦Donâ€™t worry itâ€™s not a cancer, and it doesnâ€™t spread. This occurs in 2percent-10percent of the cases. Common finding is pregnancy gingivitis.
So, whatâ€™s the solution- implement good oral hygiene habits. BRUSH-BRUSH- BRUSH, FLOSS-FLOSS-FLOSS.
Always keep your dentist in loop throughout your pregnancy. During this phase there are lots of hormonal fluctuations which will lead to oral diseases eventually, if not treated on time.
Also the micro organisms in the gums can also cause pre-term low birth weight. (Premature delivery) for the same reason may also cause high blood pressure in pregnancy.
Best time for a dentist to do the treatment is 2nd TRIMESTER.
4)Â Â MENOPAUSE-Â After 40-45 yrs cessation of women's menstrual cycle takes place, with this she enters menopausal phase .Here, estrogen levels decrease drastically which comes with itâ€™s own hardships for living a joyous life.
Ufff!!! Women start suffering from anxiety, hot flushes, osteoporosis, vaginal irritation in general and also oral manifestations like dryness in mouth, burning mouth syndrome, periodontal diseases, altered taste.
Here the dentist can help by prescribing toothpastes without abrasives, alcohol free mouthwashes, and also use of ultra soft toothbrushes for gentle caring of the tender tissues.
Dry mouth can be reduced or resolved by sucking on ice cubes or sugar free chewing gums or candies too, drinking plenty of water or any other caffeine free liquids and use of over the counter mouth sprays or rinses.
Lifestyle modifications also play an important role here, like avoiding salty, spicy, sugary foods, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine which add on to making the mouth dry.
HORMONES AS MEDICINES-Â Â Pills!!! Women do take hormonal pills for many reasons, be it from trying to conceive, preventing pregnancy, or as hormonal replacement therapy while entering the menopausal phase. These pills are synthetic derivatives of hormones which mimic their biological activities, once they are in the body. Inflammation in the gums ranges from mild to severe depending on the amount of hormones administered and the bodyâ€™s response towards it. However, newer formulations have been able to take care of these kinds of side effects by reducing the level of these hormones within them.
DRY MOUTH, DRY SOCKET (after tooth removal) are the most common consequences of oral contraceptives.
Dry socket is a very painful condition, wherein the tooth socket from where the tooth is removed does not heal. Therefore women should inform their dentist about these medications before the treatment so the dentist would schedule the appointment on non â€“ estrogenic days (23 to 28 days) of the pill cycle, thereby reducing the risk of dry socket.
SO LADIES, ALL IN ALL , YOU OWE YOURSELF A GOOD EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL WELL BEING . TAKEÂ VERY GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF .
DO VISIT YOUR DENTIST REGULARLY, as they will stay your good friend throughout this beautiful journey of your life.