Because of the changes gone through in life, women can experience acute dental problems. Women’s oral health problems, in many cases, can be related to surges in sex hormone levels, such as in puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, and menopause.
During puberty, increased estrogen can cause swollen gums, especially during menstruation. Herpes-type lesions and ulcers also can develop. Girls may experience sensitive gums that react more to irritants.
Pregnant women often experience gum inflammation because of the increase of estrogen and progesterone in their bodies. If plaque isn’t removed, it can lead to gingivitis – red, swollen, tender gums that are more likely to bleed. Oral contraceptives, which mimic pregnancy, could lead to gingivitis with long-term use.
Women with periodontal disease also are more prone to have pre-term, or low-birth weight babies, and pregnancy tumors, which are inflamed, benign growths that develop when swollen gums become irritated. Usually these tumors shrink soon after the pregnancy.
The stomach acids produced from vomiting caused by morning sickness can lead to tooth erosion. Rinsing with water after vomiting can help neutralize the acid and protect your teeth.