The Role Hormones Play in Dental Health


For women, excessive amounts of hormones greatly affect appetite, mood, weight, and even dental health. At Sullivan Family Dental, it is our goal to make sure our patients are educated on all the factors that can affect their dental health. Hormones play a key role in women’s health throughout many stages of their life.

During different stages of life, women experience hormone surges. These surges lead to increased blood flow to the gums. This causes the gums to be more sensitive, and can result in bleeding, inflammations, and swelling. This makes women more susceptible to plaque and bacteria, and they are at an increased risk for bone loss in the jaw, and tooth loss. 

There 4 times in a woman’s life when their hormone levels are at their peak:

1. Puberty: As teenage girls develop, their gums often become irritated, and can actually grow larger. In order to combat these negative effects, it is important to brush and floss twice daily.

2. During Their Period: Often times the gums will begin to swell right before a woman’s monthly cycle begins. Whether you notice this change or not, you may experience bleeding or sensitivity. Generally these symptoms go away after the period is over, but if they persist, speak with Dr. Sullivan about your monthly cycle and how it coincides with your dental health. 

3. Pregnancy: Many women develop pregnancy gingivitis. This gum disease causes the gums to become red, tender, or sore. During pregnancy it is critical to maintain good oral health habits, and some dentists may recommend increased cleanings in order to control the gingivitis. 

4. Menopause: Aside from pregnancy, menopause is the time in a woman’s life where her hormones fluctuate the most. This can lead to altered taste buds, burning sensations in the mouth, and sensitivity. Women going through menopause are also at a higher risk for gum disease, cavities, and bone loss due to dry mouth. Women at this stage in their life should talk to their dentist to make sure they are taking care of their dental health properly, and receiving the right amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D. 

While birth control pills no longer contain high enough amounts of the hormones estrogen and progesterone to affect your dental health, it is still important to make sure that this information is on file with Dr. Sullivan.

We want to ensure that all the women in your life have healthy mouths! Contact us today, to discuss how hormones affect dental health or to set up an appointment.