There are several ways in which changes to your body can affect your oral health:
- Puberty: The surge of hormones during puberty may increase blood circulation in the gums. Your mouth may become more sensitive to irritants such as plaque, and this can lead to gingivitis. Be sure to floss and brush regularly to ensure good oral health. Dental check-ups are also vital at this time.
- Menstration: Hormonal fluctuations associated with menstration may cause changes in the gum tissues of some women. These changes cause gums to swell and bleed during the days prior to menstration. You may also experience heightened sensitivity to pain, hot and cold fluctuations and pressure in the mouth during menses.
- Oral Contraceptives: If you are taking oral contraceptives, you may be susceptible to the same oral conditions that affect pregnant women. Oral contraceptives contain the hormones progesterone and/or estrogen; therefore, if you take oral contraceptives, you may experience a heightened sensitivity to plaque, which may result in gingivitis. You should advise your dentist if you are taking oral contraceptives as this may affect certain dental treatments.
- Menopause and Post-menopause: Oral symptoms experienced during this stage of a women’s life include red or inflamed gums eg. Gums that look dry or shiny, bleed easliy or range in color from abnormally pale to deep red. Other symptoms include: oral pain and discomfort, burning sensations, altered taste sensations (especially in relation to saltly, peppery and/or sour foods) and dry mouth.
- Osteoporosis: A number of studies have suggested a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. Researchers suggest this may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports teeth may be decreased. When combined with gum disease, osteoporosis speeds up the process of bone loss around teeth. Studies have also indicated that panoramic x-rays those that show a picture of the upper and lower jaw and upper neck can detect lesions that have significant deposits of calcium within the soft tissues of the neck one of the many risk factors of stroke
- Reducing the Risk: Gum disease can be controlled. Regular hygiene appointments based on your periodontal assessment and customized oral hygiene programs appropriate for your needs are recommended to reduce systematic risks associated with gum disease.