Dr. Nammy talks about how hormones affect the teeth and gums, and how hormone imbalances in women, pregnant women, and people with thyroid issues can adversely affect the health of their mouth.

Hormones are like traffic lights that tell our body what to do. So it either stops traffic or gets the traffic to continue to keep going. Hormones really are signals that our body utilizes for everything that we do from, let’s say, our immune system to when we make bone or when we shed cells, or anything along those lines.

When it comes to teeth, hormones are really important because one would not think that it would have an impact, but it really does. The key hormones really are the female hormones that have a huge impact on women. A lot of times I find women who are going through birth control pill changes, and so the hormones are not in balance. So what that does, it causes bleeding gums and it causes a bacterial overgrowth.

Also in pregnant women, progesterone is a hormone that tells them that they’re pregnant. So what that does, that hormone actually makes the bacteria divide every two minutes versus every 20 minutes. So that’s why we hear the term “pregnancy gingivitis”, so that there are a lot of bleeding gums, and it’s important to be seen by a dentist.

The other things are also thyroid. A lot of times, patients who have thyroid issues have a lot of teeth and gum problems. So we really want to see patients who have those as well.