The way in which periods and hormonal fluctuations may affect the teeth and gums are quite varied for women and girls of all ages.
- Three to four days from the start of your period you may experience increased soreness in your mouth, with swollen gums becoming more prone to bleeding. Increased hormones can also lead to a build-up of plaque. A temporary form of gingivitis is characterised by gum redness and swelling and sores on the tongue and inside cheeks. Fortunately, it usually disappears once your period starts.
- However your mouth reacts to your period, the best advice is to keep brushing and flossing as normal. If you experience increased sensitivity or soreness, and are tempted to pull back from your usual oral health routine as a result, see your dentist who can suggest the best treatment.
- If you’re on oral contraceptives, which contain progesterone, you may find that the increased levels of the hormone in your body trigger the same kind of gingivitis often seen in pregnant women. Known as “pregnancy gingivitis”, it’s marked by swelling and redness, caused by increased blood flow to the gums. It may be present in the first few months after you go on “the pill” and if it worsens, it’s a good idea to look at an alternative.
While you can undergo dental treatments at any time, there is an emerging school of thought that suggests certain dental treatments are best carried out at particular times of your period. For instance, the increased gum puffiness and inflammation of your gums means that a professional cleaning by your dentist will be most comfortable about a week after your period ends. Similarly, you might find that the days right after your period are the least sensitive time to get a filling or have a tooth extracted.
Book an appointment online if you have any concerns or need advice about your teeth and gums.