Hormones and Gum Disease

Gum disease is a condition that affects the soft tissue of the gums. In its early stages, gum disease can cause redness and swelling of the gums. Additionally, you may notice bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. As it advances, gum disease can cause your gums to recede. Your teeth rely on the stability of the gum tissue, so gum recession can loosen your teeth. Eventually, you may lose one or more teeth. 

The main contributor to gum disease is plaque. If you don’t brush or floss your teeth efficiently, you may leave behind plaque. When plaque stays near your gum line, the gums can become irritated. The plaque can build up underneath your gums, which will make the condition worsen. 

While plaque is the leading cause of gum disease, it is only one factor. There are other reasons why you may develop gum disease, including hormones. Changes in hormones can cause your gums to become more sensitive, increasing your risk of gum disease. As a result, women are more likely to develop gum disease. This is because they naturally experience more changes in their hormones. 




When women first enter puberty, they experience a surge in estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that is important for many functions, including regulating a woman’s cycle. Entering puberty typically means that a woman will develop a menstrual cycle, which increases the blood flow to the uterus. Additionally, it can cause an increase in blood flow to the gums, causing sensitivity. 

Unfortunately, this can make the gum tissue more sensitive to plaque, brushing, and flossing. 


During menstruation, there is more blood flow to the gums, making them more likely to bleed. Additionally, this can make them more sensitive to plaque. The plaque can then cause an infection more easily. 

A menstruation cycle can also increase the amount of progesterone—a hormonal influx. When the body experiences an influx of hormones, it increases the likelihood of developing gum disease. In fact, there is a special form of gum disease known as menstruation gingivitis, which occurs a day or so before the period. 


Women are more likely to develop gum disease while they are pregnant. This is because their hormone levels change constantly. For 40 weeks, a woman’s body undergoes massive changes and surges of hormones, including progesterone. As a result, during the second to eighth month of pregnancy, women can develop “pregnancy gingivitis.” Therefore, it is important to see your dentist throughout your pregnancy


Another period where a woman is more susceptible to gum disease is during menopause. Menopause causes the lowering of estrogen, which can cause other health issues. A common complaint is the development of dry mouth—a condition where the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. 

If you don’t produce enough saliva, you are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. This is because your mouth needs to stay moist in order to be healthy. Dry mouth can cause an increased production of plaque.