Hormonal imbalance can expose women to oral diseases-Expert

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A Dental Surgeon, Dr. Irozuru Magdalene has counselled women to prioritise dental health, noting that hormonal changes in their bodies could lead to oral health problems.

She said this during a programme organised by the LBD Health and Fitness fellowship with the topic; ‘Women’s hormone and their mental health’.

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The expert noted that women have increased sensitivity to some oral health problems because of the unique hormonal changes they experience throughout different stages of their lives. She explained further that hormonal changes in women can impact the blood supply to the gums and modify how the body responds to plaque buildup.

She also emphasised that these modifications can result in periodontal disease and gingivitis, which are infections and inflammations of the bone and gums that support and surround the teeth.

While acknowledging that hormones help regulate normal functions in the body, the former chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Plateau State, said excess or absence of it can be the beginning of dental problems for women.

She said: “In summary, hormones in the body are good for us; they help regulate normal functions in the body. But once there is an imbalance, whether they are excess or too low or deficient or absent, we begin to have problems. Usually, we will say visit your dentist at least twice a year. But, when you have hormonal changes, you will have to visit your dentist more regularly, more often than you have been doing. You need to have your teeth checked out. You need to do a lot of scaling and polishing to remove the calculus and plaque. Keep your mouth clean by ensuring it is professionally done for you. I personally don’t advocate for teeth whitening, you don’t need it; you are not in your old age. Then you also need to increase your oral mouth rinse. Rinse your mouth as often as possible. After every meal, rinse your mouth, and get out the food debris from your mouth. If you leave them there, the next thing you will have many of your teeth with holes,” she added.

According to the University of Alabama, Birmingham, United States, School of Dentistry, Women have increased sensitivity to some oral health problems because of the unique hormonal changes they experience throughout different stages of their lives.

“Throughout a woman’s life, there are five different stages that may impact hormone levels: puberty, menstruation, during the use of oral contraceptives, pregnancy and menopause. Changes in sex steroid hormones can occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. In severe cases, we may even see a noncancerous tumour of the gum tissues called a pyogenic granuloma, which can be painful and bleed easily,” said Mia Geisinger, DDS, a professor in the institution.

The dental surgeon advised Nigerians to see a doctor right away if they notice any tooth discolouration because oral disorders can be excruciatingly unpleasant.

According to her, “Once you notice any change or discolouration in your teeth, please quickly go to the dentist, and let them check it. When you get to that kind of pain, married women will agree with me that toothache is worse than delivery. Usually, during the daytime, you can be managing it, but at night when you are relaxed and then pain strikes; it can be very bad. So, let’s not get to that state. Consult your doctor, brush your mouth more often, brush using a toothbrush and toothpaste,” she added.