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Your periods can affect your dental health

Many women report an increase in gum tissue inflammation and discomfort associated with their menstrual cycle. It was found that several women reported considerable oral symptoms prior to menses. The symptoms included:
bullet a slight burning sensation
bullet bleeding with minor irritation
bullet redness to the gums
bullet oral ulcers 
bullet general pain and discomfort in the gums.            

Researchers compared the gingival and periodontal status premenopausal women between the ages of 20 to 50 years at different time points of their menstrual cycles.  The time points were ovulation, premenstruation and menstruation.  During the examination, researchers measured plaque index, gingival index, probing depth, gingival recession and clinical attachment level. Gingival inflammation was lower during menstruation than during ovulation and premenstruation.  This may be attributed to the hormone known as serum estradiol, which is a natural form of estrogen that peaks and drops during ovulation and premenstruation.            

Patients should remember the importance of telling their dental professionals about what is going on in their bodies including any prescription or over-the-counter medications they are taking.  This way dental professionals can explain any effects it has on periodontal health.” 

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The Effect of Menopause, Hormone  Replacement Therapy (HRT), Alendronate (ALN), and Calcium Supplements on Saliva.
Purpose:  In menopausal women many physiological changes take place, most of which are due to decreased estrogen production.  It is known estrogen influences oral health in a number of ways and saliva undergoes
variations depending upon the levels of this hormone.

The most significant oral discomfort in women in the menopausal period was oral dryness, and this symptom was relieved after HRT with ALN and calcium  supplements.  The oral status of the non-menopausal women was better than the  women in menopause.  The salivary flow rate was decreased in the menopausal period  and increased after HRT, ALN, and calcium supplementation.  The saliva pH
values were not affected by menopause and HRT with ALN and calcium supplementation.  The level of Na+ was increased with menopause and did not change with HRT  supplemented with ALN and calcium, whereas
the K+ level decreased in the menopausal period and remained constant after HRT with ALN and calcium.  The Cl¯level was not affected by menopause and the HRT supplemented with ALN and calcium.  The Ca++
level was not different in the two groups of women and did not change
after  HRT supplemented with ALN and calcium. 

Citation:   Yalcin F, Gurgan S, Gurgan T.  The Effect of Menopause, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), Alendronate (ALN), and Calcium Supplements on Saliva.  J Contemp Dent Pract 2005 May;(6)2:010-017.


Effect of Menstrual Cycle on Periodontal Health 

The Fluctuation in estrogen/progesterone levels has been shown to affect the periodontium.   Many women report an increase in gingival inflammation and discomfort associated with their menstrual cycle, most commonly around the menses period.  The purpose of this study was to compare the periodontal status of premenopausal women at different times during their menstrual cycle. Several women in this study reported appreciable oral symptoms just before or during menses. We observed changes in gingival scores during the menstrual cycles of periodontally healthy women. 
[Machtei EE, Mahler D, Sanduri H, Peled M The Effect of Menstrual Cycle on = Periodontal Health J Periodontol 2004; 75(5):408-412.]    

February 06, 2008

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
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