Posts for tag: oral health

By Ottawa Smiles Dental
August 17, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: oral health  

Find out if women are at a disadvantage when it comes to issues that impact dental health.

Yes we all know that men and women are different, but it’s more important to note that men and women are different when it comes to health issues. There are some health problems for which women are more at risk, just as there are other problems that men are moreWomen's Oral Health prone to developing. From the office of your Holland, MI dentist, Dr. Todd Brower, do women have it easier or harder when it comes to maintaining good oral health?

Because of the hormonal changes that women experience, these fluctuating hormone can leave you more susceptible to oral health issues. Hormones affect how much blood flow reaches the gum tissue and also how the body responds to plaque buildup. So because of these hormones, women can often be at a greater risk for gum disease during certain times in their lives.

There are five moments in a woman’s life where hormonal changes could increase her chances of oral health issues: puberty, during menstrual cycles, when taking birth control pills, while pregnant or during menopause.


During puberty there is an increase in estrogen and progesterone, which can increase the amount of blood that reaches the gums. This can alter how the gums respond to plaque and may make gums more sensitive, red or more likely to bleed when brushing or flossing.

Menstrual Cycle

During your monthly period, you may notice that your gums become red or swollen. You may also be more likely to develop canker sores or experience bleeding gums. This condition is sometimes referred to as menstruation gingivitis, and it will usually show up a couple days before your period and will often go away once your period starts.

Birth Control Pills

If you take birth control pills that contain progesterone, don’t be too surprised if your gums become more inflamed and irritated by plaque. Let your Holland general dentist know whether or not you are taking birth control pills.


Of course, hormones change a lot during pregnancy, and with the increase in progesterone this also increases your chances of gum disease. If you are prone to this condition, we may recommend that you come in more often for cleanings during your pregnancy.


Menopause sees the most changes not only because of the changes in hormone levels but also because of the natural oral changes that occur as a result of aging. These changes can include an increased sensitivity to hot or cold, dry mouth, an increased risk of tooth decay or gum disease, and even jawbone loss (due to a decrease in estrogen).

Whether you need to schedule your next cleaning or you have questions about which cosmetic dentistry is right for you, don’t hesitate to call our Holland, MI dental office at Ottawa Smiles Dental. We are here for you!