The female body is both vast and complex when it comes to the changes it withstands. While hormonal adjustments and a shift in outward appearance are two common marked changes, females also withstand changes as it pertains to their oral health. Some of these changes place them at a greater risk for dental conditions like gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a serious oral condition that is brought about from a bacterial infection. Each time you eat, plaque, or bacteria, from the food gets left behind and settles along the surface of your teeth. When plaque is left behind and left untreated, it can harden and start to rest under the gum line.
This causes an infection. The infected area becomes inflamed and is sometimes sore. For most people, normal brushing helps remove plaque an occasional plaque buildup isn't much concern, but for some females, this puts them at a greater risk for gingivitis.
Female Risk Factors
Progesterone is a hormone naturally produced by women. When pregnant, the body begins to produce this hormone at a more rapid rate. The risk with this is that elevated progesterone levels alter the manner in which the body reacts to certain bacteria, such as plaque.
For this reason, a pregnant woman with even a very small amount of plaque buildup can easily develop gingivitis. While this oral condition doesn't occur in all women, the disease can quickly progress during pregnancy. In most cases, once the progesterone levels lower, gingivitis will also be irradiated.
Oral contraceptives, such as birth control pills, are designed to increase certain hormone levels within a woman's body. By increasing these hormone levels, the body naturally believes that it is pregnant. This sense of false pregnancy prevents a woman from ovulating, which in turn prevents her from becoming pregnant.
As previously stated, oral contraceptives raise some of the hormone levels that are associated with pregnancy. Similar to a true pregnancy, these increased levels can bring about gingival elements like enlarged or inflamed gums, even if excess plaque on the teeth is a very small concern. Typically, once a woman ceases use of the oral contraceptive, her gingivitis will also stop.
If your gingivitis is brought about by hormonal elements, a good at-home oral care regimen and regular visits to the dentist are critical. No matter what is behind your onset of gingivitis, care from your dental provider is important.