Dr. Tatiana Luebke reveals how fluctuating hormones in women may wreak havoc in your dental health.
A woman experiences hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause, which can cause swelling and changes to the gums, increasing the risk of tooth and gum diseases. Here’s how to be vigilant with your oral hygiene at different stages:
Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after a bout of morning sickness as this removes the natural alkaline, potentially increasing damage to the enamel. Use a fluoride mouth rinse instead to neutralise the acid. If morning sickness makes it difficult to clean your teeth, use a child-sized toothbrush and avoid frothy toothpastes.
Tender gums are more likely to harbour bacteria, causing plaque to form. This damages the gums and brings on gingivitis, which can lead to periodontitis if left untreated, damaging the bone that supports teeth. Studies suggest periodontal infection increases the likelihood of premature births or infants with low birth weights, upping your child’s risk of health problems in the future.
Gradually declining hormones can cause a bad taste plus burning or dry sensations in the mouth as well as sore, sensitive gums. Brush, scale, clean and floss teeth regularly to avoid decay.
Osteoporosis is common in post-menopausal women, so you should ensure a sufficient intake of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium to maintain a healthy jawbone so your teeth are well supported.
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