It’s Your Period — Be Careful With Your Teeth
Your period catches a lot of blame, for your bloating, for emotions that you can never explain, and for your cravings for chocolate, among other things. There also are a few areas where your period presents unique challenges.
Studies show that menstrual periods can wreak havoc with the health of a woman’s teeth. In some cases, there’s not much you can do about it; in others, you certainly can take note and be more careful.
Why Do My Teeth Hurt During My Menstrual Cycle?
During a woman’s menstrual cycle there is an increase of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen which can be accompanied by a build-up of plaque. Some women develop a form of gingivitis which is temporary. This form of gingivitis creates swelling and redness of the gums which can make them hurt.
Menstruation and Tooth Extraction
If you need to get a tooth extracted, it’s a good idea to wait until after your period. During your menstrual period, the hormonal roller coaster can make your gums sensitive. No matter what invasive procedure you have planned, do it after you stop bleeding.
Another problem that may occur when you have a tooth pulled at the wrong time in your menstruation cycle is alveolar osteitis, or “dry socket,” wherein the extraction is followed by poor healing.
A major study recently published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, called “The Effect of Menstrual Cycle on Frequency of Alveolar Osteitis,” found the condition is far more common among women in the middle of their period, especially when they use an oral contraceptive. If you use birth control and you need a tooth pulled, schedule the appointment for the last week of your menstrual cycle when your estrogen levels are at their lowest.
Menstruation and Dental Cleanings
As noted earlier, during menstruation, a women’s body’s estrogen levels tend to increase right before and during her period. Estrogen can cause inflammation and swelling in the gums, which can make it difficult for a dentist to accurately measure the tightness of the gums and the width of the spaces around the teeth. When your gums are puffy, swollen, and sensitive, cleanings can be painful as well.
It’s important to be extra careful with your daily oral hygiene routine. You might poke yourself in the gums with your toothbrush and cause painful bleeding; if you’re absent-minded with the floss, you could cut yourself. Pay attention to what you’re doing. A little care goes a long way.
When it is the right time for you to schedule your dental appointment, Dr. Paul Feldman at Suburban Essex Dental is ready to help you. Have questions about us? Feel free to give us a call, or simply fill out our online form to schedule a consultation. Browse our website to view all of our dental services.