Oral hygiene and diet are just some of the factors that affect your risk of developing gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Knowing all of the factors involved in your oral health and understanding the link between hormone changes and gingivitis can help you manage your gum disease risk and protect your oral health.
At Scott Young, DDS, our team of general dentists and dental professionals offer general and cosmetic dentistry services at our office in The Woodlands, Texas.
The link between hormone changes and gingivitis
Several factors affect your hormone levels, the most common being puberty and pregnancy. Hormone changes can affect gum health and increase the risk of developing gingivitis in two ways: by affecting the blood supply to the gums and interfering with the body’s ability to fight off and respond to the toxins and bacteria involved with plaque and tartar buildup (the cornerstones of gum developing gum disease).
Some of the hormonal changes that can affect oral health and increase the risk of gum disease include:
- Hormone based birth control pills
While you may not be able to control your hormones, you can take proactive steps to protect your oral health and manage your risk of developing gingivitis and gum disease.
How to prevent and treat gingivitis
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which is caused by gum inflammation. The most common symptoms of gingivitis are red, tender, bleeding gums, but it’s also possible to have no symptoms at all in the beginning.
When caught and treated early, gingivitis is fully reversible and doesn’t lead to permanent damage to your gums. As it progresses, gum disease causes irreversible damage to the underlying soft tissue that supports your teeth and can ultimately result in tooth loss.
The first thing you can do to take control of your oral health is to schedule a general dental exam and professional cleaning every six months to a year. At your appointment, our dental team will perform a comprehensive oral exam and review your medical history to evaluate your gum disease risk and design a treatment plan that will work for you at every stage.
Even if you take good care of your teeth and gums at home, visiting our dental team regularly is critical to your oral health because you can’t always see or feel what’s really happening behind your gums until it’s too late.
Other steps you can take to prevent and manage your risk of gingivitis include:
- Brush your teeth after meals
- Floss at least once a day (it doesn’t matter what time of day)
- Don’t smoke
- Eat a healthy diet
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
To learn more about your risk of gingivitis and how to prevent and treat gum disease, contact Scott Young, DDS today to schedule an appointment with a general dentist at our office in The Woodlands, Texas, or request an appointment online.