WOMEN AND PERIODONTAL HEALTH
WOMEN AND PERIODONTAL HEALTH
Throughout a woman’s life, hormonal changes affect tissue throughout the body. Fluctuations in hormonal levels occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. At these times, the chance of periodontal disease may increase, requiring special care of your oral region.
During puberty, there is increased production of sex hormones. These higher hormone levels increase gum sensitivity and lead to greater irritation from plaque and food particles. The gums can become swollen, turn red, and feel tender.
Similar symptoms occasionally appear several days before menstruation. Bleeding of the gums, bright red swelling between the teeth and gum, or sores on the inside of the cheek may occur. These symptoms generally clear up once the period has started.
Your gums and teeth are also affected during pregnancy. Between the second and eighth month, gums may also swell, bleed, and become red or tender. Large lumps may appear as a reaction to local irritants. However, these growths are generally painless and not cancerous. They may require professional removal but usually disappear sometime after delivery. Periodontal health practices should be part of your prenatal care. Any infections during pregnancy, including periodontal infections, can place a baby’s health at risk. For more information, see the section of our website labeled “Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease” under the “Mouth-Body Connection” tab.
Swelling, bleeding, and tenderness of the gums may also occur when you are taking oral contraceptives, which are synthetic hormones.
You should always mention any prescriptions you are taking, including oral contraceptives, prior to medical or dental treatment. This will help eliminate the risk of drug interactions, such as antibiotics with oral contraceptives, which lessens the effectiveness of the contraceptive.
Changes in the look and feel of your mouth may occur if you are menopausal or post-menopausal. They include: feeling pain and burning in your gum tissue and salty, peppery, sour tastes, and “dry mouth.” Careful oral hygiene at home and professional cleaning may relieve these symptoms. There are also saliva substitutes to treat the effects of dry mouth.
ABOUT DR. JOHN FERRIN, DMD, MS
WHO WE ARE
Dr. Ferrin brings a wealth of cutting-edge periodontal training with him to Southern Oregon. Born in the mountains of Northern Utah and raised in Mississippi. Dr. Ferrin joined the U.S Army National Guard at the age of 17 and served for 14 years. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Biology with an emphasis in Physiology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and went on to earn his DMD at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine. While attending dental school, he started a nationally recognized dental clinic to provide free dental care to Veterans in need. The clinic was named Sgt. Clint Ferrin Dental Clinic after his brother, who neglected his oral health due to several deployments. Sgt. Ferrin was later killed in action in Iraq in 2004. For his work in the clinic, Dr. Ferrin was awarded the ADA Foundation Award for student leadership.
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Hours of Operation
MON: 7:00am - 3:00pm
TUES: 9:00am - 3:00pm
WED: 7:00am - 3:00pm
THURS: 7:00am - 3:00pm
John D. Ferrin, DMD, MS
2930 E Barnett Rd, Medford,
OR 97504, USA