How To Keep Menstrual Gingivitis at Bay
It is a known fact that menstruation tags along with it a multitude of snags like period discomfort and pain, nausea, heavy bleeding, stomach bloating, food cravings, aversions and what not.It is not uncommon for you to blame your monthly periods for your swollen belly, the crazy brownie craving, or even for a sudden emotional outburst. But, it is very seldom that you might hold your hormones responsible for those distended, sensitive gums. While you make note of this, women must also bear in mind that your monthly cycle is not just limited to cramps, spasms and bleeding. The hormonal disturbances that happen during this phase can set you up for oral health issues too, mostly a kind of gum ailment known as menstrual gingivitis.
What is Menstrual Gingivitis?
It has been researched that hormonal ups and downs that take place during a women’s monthly cycle can majorly impact your oral health in a big way. Hormonal fluctuations and dental health in women are two sides of the same coin. Menstrual gingivitis is a common oral snag that women may experience. This dental problem occurs owing to hormonal instabilities during the course of menstruation or even before the onset of your periods. As gingival tissues have a host of estrogenic receptors, the response to the changes caused by hormones is rapid. Those who fail to uphold a good oral hygiene can easily fall prey to such oral glitches because the microorganisms which are already present in the oral cavity tend to multiply and result in gingivitis (gum disease). If not treated on a timely basis, in the long run, gingivitis can also make you fall trap to grave oral problems like periodontitis.
So how does Menstrual Gingivitis build its origin?
The surge in the generation of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone that happens during the process of menstruation tends to escalate the flow of blood to the gums. During this time, the tissues of gum tend to become red, soft, inflamed and tender, further paving the way to conditions like bad breath, bleeding gums, bleeding while brushing, gingival discomfort and pain while you chew hard edibles. Gum sickness can also cause pockets to form between the teeth and gums, due to which plaque and food fragments get deposited, thus further worsening the situation. This condition is experienced a couple of days prior to the start of the menstrual cycle and slowly it declines with the onset of menstruation.
Signs and symptoms of Gingivitis that you must not miss:
- Gums that are bright red or purple in colour
- Tender gums that will hurt even if you touch them
- Gums that bleeding when you brush and floss
- Extremely bad breath
- Irritation or swelling in the gums
- Receding gums
- Gums tend to become very soft
1. Brushing without fail: Brushing teeth regularly, twice a day is the best way to uphold healthy tooth health. You must consider using a soft nylon-bristle toothbrush. Brushing in a circular motion or a straight downward motion is the best way to clean your teeth.
2. Effective tongue cleaning: This is a compulsory step which aids in collecting and cleaning the germs that stick to our tongue, thus avoiding cavity built-up.
3. Flossing without fail: Make sure to floss every time, after you are done with brushing your teeth. This assists in reducing the formation of plaque between your teeth.
4. Rinsing with mouthwash: Doing this will help in treating gum irritation as anti-bacterial mouthwashes encompass the ingredient chlorhexidine which plays a major role in killing oral bacteria’s and unwanted cavities.
Further dental procedures like oral prophylaxis (ultrasonic scaling), usage of interdental brush, a plaque elimination device or an irrigation device can be utilized after consulting with your oral health expert. In addition, you must have regular dental check-ups without fail. Specialized scaling is also tremendously important because once the plaque has hardened and built-up or has become tartar, and only a dental expert can help to eliminate it. Progressive technologies like gingivectomy, flap surgery, root planning prove to be of great help in case of long-lasting conditions.
Apart from menstruation, events like menopause, pregnancy and birth control pills can also cause hormonal oscillation resulting in gingivitis. It can also be caused due to some long-term ingesting of medicines. The later outcome of this will be periodontitis. This can also turn out as one of the major threats to our heart and lead to major heart ailments.
Each and every stage of a woman’s life is surrounded by various changes in and out. Just like you uphold your over-all health and hygiene, your oral health too demands equal attention. Your dental hygiene during this phase should be of prime significance and should not be overlooked at any cost.
This article as authored by Dr Karishma Jaradi, aesthetic dentist at Dentzz Dental