Cramps, Sore Back, And… Gum Pain? How Periods Impact Your Oral Health

18 March 2020
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


There are plenty of symptoms that tend to come along with having a menstrual period, but most women probably don't put their gums at the top of the list. In fact, many may not even realize that their gums seem to be more sensitive only on certain days of the month, and that those days coincide with PMS or a menstrual period. However, the reality is that your gums can be affected by this time of the month. Here's what you should know about this.

Why They're Impacted

Gums are just another kind of tissue, which means that they're susceptible to hormonal shifts just like the rest of your body. When you experience a problem like back pain at that time of the month, it's usually because the muscles and tissues in your back become slightly swollen and inflamed. This same thing can happen to your gums. It's all because the hormones in your body shift dramatically in order to prepare for a period, and as unpleasant as it might be, it can impact your entire body, including your gums.

What Happens

Have you ever noticed that your gums seem to be painful or bleed just a couple days of the month? Maybe you start flossing or brush more efficiently during this time and think that when it goes away it's because you've done better. But the reality is, it's probably due to your hormonal shift.

Your gums may become very sensitive and slightly inflamed or swollen during this time. If you look at them in the mirror, they may have a more reddish tint than usual. Most importantly, though, brushing them too vigorously can induce bleeding from the gums.

What You Can Do About It

Some, but not all women who have this condition have underlying mild gum disease that's asymptomatic, or in other words, doesn't have any noticeable symptoms. But when the hormonal shifts occur, the existing gum disease and the increased tissue sensitivity can combine to cause symptoms like these. For this reason, it's a great idea to visit your dentist to have your gums and teeth cleaned. Just this one step may be enough to put an end to the discomfort you're experiencing on a monthly basis.

In addition, be gentle with your teeth and gums when it's that time of the month. Brush super gently and lightly with more brush strokes to ensure that you're getting rid of all the plaque and bacteria that you can. You can also try rinsing with salt water to soothe and disinfect your gums.