By Dr. Karishma Ja
Being a woman, you know that you need to take extra care of yourself at specific occasions of your life, your body being a little more complex than that of a man. Health needs are unique, a little more care and pampering yourself is not bad. The hormonal changes that take place during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy etc., open ways and avenues for various health issues that are limited to only the feminine. These hormonal changes can affect many tissues, including the gum tissue.
Hormonal changes and oral health in women tend to be the two sides of the same coin. Menstruation Gingivitis is a common oral problem women go through. This problem occurs due to hormonal fluctuations during the course of menstruation or before. As gingival tissues have lots of estrogenic receptors, it’s response to the hormonal changes is rapid. Those who maintain a poor oral hygiene easily bump into such oral disparities because the bacteria which is already there in oral cavity multiplies and results in gingivitis (gum disease). Further gingivitis can also make you fall prey to periodontitis (tooth mobility).
So how does Menstruation Gingivitis build its origin in the female body —-
The surge in the production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone that occurs during menstruation increases the blood flow to the gums. In this process the gum tissues become red, soft, swollen and tender, further leading to conditions like bad breath, bleeding gums, bleeding while tooth brushing, gingival pain and discomfort while chewing hard foods. Gum disease can also cause pockets to form between the teeth and gums, due to which plaque and food debris gets deposited and the situation further worsens. This condition is experienced one or two days before the onset of menstrual cycle and gradually it decreases with the start of menstruation.
To deal with such oral problems, consult a dentist as soon as you discover yourself falling trap to the above oral symptoms. You also need to maintain proper routine oral care to avoid these dental miseries. Below mentioned guidelines will extend a helping hand in plummeting the problem.
Brushing without failing: Regularly brush your teeth using a soft nylon-bristle toothbrush, brush at least twice daily. Circular brushing motion or a straight downward motion is the best way to clean your teeth. With that a back-and-forth scrub may be needed to focus on the gum line.
Tongue cleaning: This is a mandatory step which helps to collect and clean the bacteria that sticks in our tongue.
Floss your Teeth: Make sure to floss every time, after you done with brushing your teeth. This helps to reduce plaque built-up between your teeth.
Rinsing with mouthwash, it helps in curing gum inflammation as anti-bacterial mouthwashes contain the ingredient chlorhexidine which helps to kill dental bacteria’s and cavities.
Further techniques like Oral prophylaxis (ultrasonic scaling), use of interdental brush, a plaque removal device or an irrigation device can be used but first do consult a dentist. In addition, positively do have routine dental check-ups. Professional scaling is also extremely vital because once the plaque has hardened and built-up or become tartar, only a dentist or dental hygienist can eradicate it. Advanced technologies like gingivectomy, flap surgery, root planning is off greater help in the chronic conditions.
Pregnancy, menopause, and birth control pills other than menstruation are the few causes of hormonal fluctuation ensuing into gingivitis. It can also occur due to certain long term consumption of medicines like anti-epileptic drugs and certain anti-hypertensive drugs. Later it may result into periodontitis. This can also turn out as one of the biggest threats to our heart and can lead to sever heart diseases. Because if a patient with periodontitis goes through any surgical procedure and have not got proper antibiotic prophylaxis then it may affect their cardiac conditions and results in Sub Acute Bacterial Endocarditis (SABE).
Each phase of a woman’s life is engulfed with various changes. Just as your over-all health and hygiene your oral health too demands equal attention. Your dental care during these times should be of prime importance and should not be ignored. Welcome each passing day and greet every new change in your life with a resplendent smile.