Periods aren't fun for any woman. Between the cramping, bleeding, and hormonal and emotional shifts, it's not a party. Unfortunately, the pain one feels during their period isn't limited simply to the back and torso. If you've noticed a correlation between how your gums feel and your period hitting, you should know that it's not your imagination. The two are indeed linked, but the good news is, you can reduce the discomfort and swelling of your gums. Read on to learn more about this odd link and how you can improve your condition.
How a Period Triggers Bleeding Gums
When your body prepares for a period, a lot of different things happen. Hormones shift, the uterine lining is shed, and tiny capillaries open that cause bleeding. However, it's the hormones that cause the problems you're feeling with your gums.
Your body releases a specific hormone - progesterone - that's designed to help the body to shed the old uterine lining. This hormone causes the cramps you feel in your midsection, but it also causes the pain you're feeling in your gums. Progesterone causes tissues in the body to bloat and become swollen and tender. This includes your gums. When you're on your period, your gums might bleed, feel tender, or swell. This is normal for many women, but it doesn't mean that you have to put up with it.
Worsening Underlying Causes
For many women, progesterone is a problem because their gums aren't in the best of health to begin with. Even if you have the mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, when progesterone is added to the mix, it can make your gums feel miserable. You may experience symptoms of more severe forms of gum disease, like periodontitis, only to have those symptoms subside after a day or two.
There are a few things you can do to decrease your symptoms of gum pain, swelling, and bleeding while you're on your period.
One possibility is to talk to a doctor if you're taking birth control. The hormones found in birth control can sometimes worsen this problem. Switching to a different variety or administration method might help to reduce your symptoms.
In addition, it's important to treat underlying gum disease. If you go from having gum disease to healthy gums, your symptoms during that time of the month should be greatly reduced or they may outright disappear. Many people have gum disease without knowing it, so don't assume that your gums are perfectly healthy unless a dentist has already told you so.
Lastly, make sure to be extra gentle with your teeth and gums while you're on your period. Only the lightest pressure should be applied to your gums while brushing your teeth. Floss gently too, and avoid striking your gums with taut floss.
If your gums hurt, bleed, or swell when you're on your period, you don't need to suffer needlessly. Talk to a dental services professional to get your gums in tip-top shape and your symptoms should vastly improve the next time you're on your period.