You might not have imagined there could be a link between your monthly period and your ability to recover quickly from dental surgery. In fact, the connection between your dental health and your period might seem obscure at best. However, the American Dental Association reports your dental health is affected by various changes in your body, including hormonal changes, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause and the use of contraceptives. Talk to your dentist prior to dental surgery to ensure an effective and comfortable surgery and recovery.
There are many ways in which your menstrual cycle may influence the health of your teeth, gums and oral cavity. According to dentist Dan Peterson on the Gentle Dental Care website, many women experience increased gum inflammation and sensitivity during their menstrual periods. The American Dental Association adds some women report bleeding and swollen gums during the premenstrual phase of their cycles. Herpes outbreaks are also more likely to occur during and prior to menstruation, the American Dental Association reports. The increase in the hormone progesterone before and during your period may also add to gum and mouth sensitivity.
According to the Connective Tissue Disorder website, the link between gum sensitivity and menstruation is, in rare cases, associated with a more serious bleeding disorder. Von Willebrand disease is a genetic bleeding disorder that may be characterized by heavy menstrual bleeding, excessive bleeding after dental surgery and bleeding during tooth brushing. If your menstrual or gum bleeding seems excessive, talk to a doctor to rule out serious conditions.
While there is no "cure" for the fluctuations in your dental health during your period, you can avoid added discomfort by scheduling your dental surgery during a time outside your premenstrual or menstrual phases. Peterson advises paying attention to your body, since some women experience sensitivity just prior to their periods, while others are affected during menstruation. Talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about when to schedule surgery.
If your gum sensitivity, bleeding or herpes outbreaks become intolerable during or near menstruation, your dentist may advise you on prevention. A conscientious regimen of oral hygiene is essential, reports the American Dental Association. In addition, your dentist or physician may prescribe preventative topical or oral anti-herpes medications to prevent outbreaks. If you experience a type of ulcer called an aphthous ulcer or if your herpes sores are painful, your doctor or dentist may provide you with a topical painkiller.
There are many ways in which your dental health as a woman is unique and ever-changing. By paying attention to your body, you can work with your health care provider to find the best ways of maintaining your oral and dental health. According to Peterson on the Gentle Dental Care website, you should communicate freely with your dentist about any medications or hormones you may be taking.