During my pregnancy, I noticed that my gums became red and swollen. It was uncomfortable and caused me concern, so I did some research on gum disease and pregnancy.
It turns out that this is a common problem many women face – not only during pregnancy, but at other times as well when there are significant hormonal changes, such as puberty, menstruation and menopause.
The Connection Between Female Hormones and Gum Disease
Charlene Krejci, associate clinical professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, and her team, reviewed 61 articles containing almost 100 studies to understand the connection between female hormones, gum disease, and women-specific health issues.
Their findings reveal that fluctuating female hormone levels can change conditions inside the mouth, allowing bacteria to grow, enter into the blood stream, and aggravate health issues such as bone loss, pre-term births, and even fetal death.
So as women, we need to be more vigilant about maintaining our oral health to prevent gum disease and lessen the severity of these women-specific health issues. Here are some tips to consider:
1. Avoid harmful ingredients in your oral care products
According to Dr. Harold Katz, the founder of Therabreath, some commercial oral care products contain certain harmful ingredients such as alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, saccharin and benzalkonium chloride.
These ingredients can increase the risk of oral sores, oral cancer, skin diseases, and other health concerns. Learn how to avoid harmful ingredients in your oral care products.
2. Reduce sugary foods and the frequency of snacking
When you eat foods that contain sugars and carbohydrates, bacteria in the mouth convert them into acids, which begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process.
So to prevent dental decay, cut down the consumption of sugary and carb-rich foods, especially snacks, which will help reduce the exposure of your teeth to the cycle of decay.
3. Eat Mouth-healthy foods
According to Web MD, the best food choices for your oral health include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods protect tooth enamel by re-depositing the calcium and phosphorus removed by acids from eating.
Other food choices include firm/crunchy fruits (for example, apples and pears) and vegetables. The high water content in these foods dilutes the effects of sugar, and stimulates the flow of saliva (which helps wash away food particles and buffer acid).
Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.
4. Practice good dental hygiene
Of course, dental hygiene is essential. Floss and brush your teeth between meals. And get a teeth cleaning and checkup at your dentist at least every 6 months.
During my pregnancy I’ve snacked a lot, which may have contributed to my sensitive gums. It’s time to be more diligent!
Chasteberry (proven to help treat low progesterone and regulate menstrual cycles in more than 60 years of clinical research, including 5 randomized trials)
Vitamin B6 (one of the best vitamins to boost progesterone)
Progesterone Cream (bio-identical hormonal support)
Reduce Estrogen Dominance
Liver Cleanse Detox and Repair Formula (support liver functions)
Dim Plus (improve estrogen metabolism)
Support Adrenal and Thyroid Functions
Adrenal Health Daily Support (promote overall hormone balance)
Thyroid Support Complex (support energy and metabolism)
Once Daily Organic Whole Food Vitamin Supplement (provide essential nutrients for health and hormone balance)
Liquid Iron (support healthy blood)
The Hormone Cure, by Dr. Sara Gottfried
Cooking for Hormone Balance, by Magdalena Wszelaki