As a Woman, Is There a Link Between My Oral Health and My Overall Health?

As a woman, you have unique oral health concerns. Did you know that a change in hormone levels during your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause increases the risk of problems in your mouth, teeth, or gums? It is therefore of utmost importance to ensure regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist to mitigate these risks.

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

  1. How does my menstrual cycle affect oral health?

Throughout your menstrual cycle, your hormone levels go up and down. A few days before your period, during ovulation, your gums may be swollen, red and bleed more often due to higher hormone progesterone levels. Another occurrence during your menstrual period is canker sores. Canker sores are found to be small, white, or grey ulcers with a red border. They can be found inside the mouth and is not infectious.

  • How does birth control affect oral health?

Hormonal birth control methods can increase the levels of oestrogen and progesterone in the body, which could lead to red, sensitive, or swollen gums. Increased hormonal levels can also affect the speed of healing in the mouth. It is essential to notify the dentist if you are using a birth control method due to your mouth being unable to heal correctly after dental treatment, such as pulling a tooth.

  • How does menopause affect oral health?

A heavy decrease in oestrogen can be found in women after menopause, which could cause oral health issues. Although not proven yet, many women experience new pain in their mouths after or during menopause. Lower levels of oestrogen could also cause lower amounts of saliva in your mouth, increasing the chances of sensitive gums, cavities, infections, ulcers, and tooth decay. Another increased risk of a lowered oestrogen level is osteoporosis, which is the weakening of bones. Osteoporosis can cause gum diseases and weaken your jawbone resulting in possible loss of teeth.

Remember to take care of your unique oral health by going for routine dental checks, and doing the basics such as brushing and flossing.

Jane Atkinson, D.D.S., Chief, Center for Clinical Research, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Michael Reddy, D.M.D., D.M.Sc., Dean, School of Dentistry, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Oral health:


Related Posts

Invisalign & Aligners

Invisalign is a type of orthodontic treatment that uses clear, plastic aligners to straighten teeth. It is an alternative to traditional metal braces that uses…

Read More

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves removing stains and discoloration from the teeth to improve their appearance. There are several methods available…

Read More

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin that are placed over the front surfaces of teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers can…

Read More