A woman’s mouth goes through several stages that make it more sensitive. They can be hormonal changes or occur at important times, such as pregnancy or menopause.
These changes are reflected especially in the smile, which makes it more vulnerable.
These are the possible oral problems that women can have in the main stages of their lives:
Puberty is a stage marked by hormonal changes. Adolescence affects both teeth and gums, due to the increase of estrogens and progesterone. These increase blood circulation to the gums, enhancing the inflammatory response to plaque. This is known as “pubertal gingivitis” and is usually transient.
It is also a time marked by new experiences, such as smoking, which can cause gum disease, tooth decay, halitosis, etc.; piercings, which can cause receding gums, wear and fractures in the teeth; or the appearance of eating disorders, which can lead to tooth decay, periodontitis, dry mouth, hypersensitivity, etc.
Before menstruation, symptoms of gingivitis may appear, in what is known as “menstrual gingivitis”. There may be bleeding, inflammation of the gums and ulcers in the cheeks.
On the other hand, oral contraceptives, such as the pill, can cause increased gum inflammation. This occurs because they contain a number of synthetic hormones similar to estrogen and progesterone.
About 75% of pregnant women suffer from gingivitis between the third and eighth month. The gums become red, swollen and bleed. The reason is the accumulation of bacterial plaque, which is enhanced by the hormonal and vascular changes typical of this stage. If not treated correctly it can worsen to periodontitis or pyorrhea.
On the other hand, changes in the composition and flow of saliva that occur during pregnancy increase the risk of caries, as they hinder the neutralization of acids in the mouth and the repair of enamel. In addition, pregnancy-related vomiting can weaken tooth enamel.
During menopause, the gums are very weak, which can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis. The cause is that the body reduces estrogen and progesterone levels, which leads to a reduction in bone density, causing the onset of osteoporosis and limiting the anti-inflammatory effect of these hormones on the gums.
In addition, at this stage the salivary glands secrete less saliva, triggering xerostomia or dry mouth syndrome.
On the other hand, the consumption of medications can cause dry mouth, which translates into difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking, dry mouth, halitosis…
All in all, it increases the risk of caries. In addition, burning mouth syndrome may appear: an intense burning and stinging sensation in the mouth. It mainly affects postmenopausal women.