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Nutrition is at
the core of
everything your
body does for you.

Each cell affects every
other cell in your body.

Read More…

Hormones & Swollen Gums

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
September 19, 2016

hormones-swollen-gums

Chelsea and Brenda don’t know each other. Both are patients of mine. Chelsea is 27 and pregnant with her first child. Brenda is 54 and postmenopausal. Both have swollen, bleeding, and sore gums. Both want to know what’s wrong.

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Pregnancy, Menopause, & Gum Tissues

Hormones are the ultimate messengers of the body. Their task is to communicate with every cell. In pregnancy and in menopause, sex hormones affect the gum tissues in different ways. HERE. HERE. HERE.

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During pregnancy, the fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone may cause the gum tissues to become more inflamed. However, this inflammation is significantly increased in the presence of dental plaque. The end result is more swollen and sore gums with increased bleeding.

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During menopause, a decrease in estrogen may cause the gum tissues to become thinner and the amount of saliva in the mouth to decrease. These make the gum tissues more susceptible to dental plaque. The result is more swollen and sore gums with increased bleeding.

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Do you see a common thread? It’s dental plaque. Rising estrogen levels and falling estrogen levels create different changes in the gum tissues. However, these various changes in the gums make them more susceptible to dental plaque with increased swelling, soreness, and bleeding.

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Solutions

First, a statement of caution: Some menopausal women have considered hormonal replacement therapy to treat their ongoing symptoms. However, there are potentially significant risks associated with this treatment. In addition, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has never been tested for long-term safety and effectiveness. HERE. HERE.

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A more natural solution is multifold – improve oral hygiene, enhance the immune system, and reduce the soreness. Here is a perfect cocktail for those who are pregnant or have reached menopause:

  • Eat a diet that is high in nutrient-dense foods and anti-inflammatory foods. This will enhance the immune system. HERE.
  • Improve your ability to clean your mouth effectively. HERE.
  • Schedule more frequent appointments to have your teeth cleaned by your favorite dental hygienist depending on your needs. The frequency depends on the overall health of your gum tissues. Dental cleaning appointments may be necessary as often as every 1-2 months. HERE.
  • If the gum tissues have become sore, there are various prescription medications to reduce inflammation and soreness. However, there is a natural remedy that has been researched. You may want to give it a try. It is local raw honey. This honey has never been processed, heated, or filtered. Natural raw honey has been shown to reduce inflammation and enhance healing of mucosal tissues. HERE. HERE. HERE. Honey also has been shown to reduce various symptoms of menopause. HERE. Eat local raw honey several times a day by swishing it to coat the sore gums and then swallowing it.

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Chelsea’s and Brenda’s Results

I explained to Chelsea and Brenda how their hormonal changes were affecting their gums. They needed to take care of their mouths daily. I gave them recommendations for nutrient-dense foods and anti-inflammatory foods. I also gave them some sources where they could purchase local raw honey.

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They took my advice and improved their gum tissues. They now have happy gums.

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