Inflammation of the gums is common in women who take
oral contraceptives and in women who are pregnant. The
gum tissues become swollen and engorged with blood.
Birth control pills work by introducing high levels of estrogen
and progesterone into the body, to fool it into thinking
it is pregnant.
If you are pregnant and notice a swelling or lump on the
gums surrounding one or more teeth, you probably have what
is known as “a pregnancy tumor.” This lesion is not really a
tumor but a local area of granulated (thickened) tissue.
Pregnancy tumors disappear after your pregnancy ceases.
• Massage the gum tissue with a soft brush, which will
help reduce inflammation.
• Use baking soda toothpaste or baking soda straight out
of the box, as this can reduce swelling. Baking soda is an antacid that can balance the pH of your mouth, leaving
it less prone to gum disease and tooth decay.
• Use sea salt rinses to help reduce swollen tissue.
• Consult your gynecologist about a proper diet.
• See your dental hygienist frequently for cleanings.
Women who enter menopause go through hormonal
changes. Usually there is a lack of estrogen and progesterone,
which causes osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the thinning
and loss of bone structure in the body. In the mouth
there can be a form of osteoporosis leading to bone loss surrounding
the teeth. The bone supports the teeth and holds
them in their sockets. New bone is made by osteoblast
(bone-building) cells, and old bone is restored by
osteoblasts. However, estrogen in the body reduces
osteoblasts, causing bone resorption. The role of progesterone
is to stimulate the osteoblasts that aid in new bone
formation. Thus progesterone is very important in stimulating
new bone growth. Hormones play an important role in
gum disease and can be the precursor to the condition.
Remedies: Seek advice from your gynecologist regarding
hormone replacement in menopause.
Prior to and during menopause, certain foods can help
eliminate your symptoms of gum disease. Papaya, for example,
contains phytoestrogen, which can be added to your diet
to help increase estrogen in your body. Estrogen levels can
increase with the intake of certain foods such as soybeans
and soy products such as tofu, miso, and boiled beans.
Phytoestrogen is also found in apples, carrots, yams, green beans, peas, potatoes, red beans, brown rice, whole wheat,
rye, and sesame seeds. Flaxseeds and other seeds have some
estrogen potential. Phytoestrogens are similar but not identical
to the estrogen produced by the body. Phytoestrogens are
plant-derived compounds, and are more natural than the prescribed
drugs on the market. If you notice that your skin is
dry, take flaxseed or pumpkin seed.
• Herbs: Use rosemary or oreganol (oil of oregano),
which are both helpful in the prevention of gum
• Hormone replacement: To regulate the hormone levels
in your body, seek a physician’s advice.
• Diet: Soybeans, tofu, miso, boiled beans, apples, carrots,
yams, green beans, peas, potatoes, red beans,
brown rice, whole wheat, rye, and sesame seeds are
good. Flaxseed acts as a lubricant and will help prevent
dry skin and gums from receding. Your gums are similar
to your skin, and you want to moisturize your gum
tissue as you would your skin.
Anemia is a disease in which people have reduced red blood
cells, which can result in poor circulation. The blood in
patients with anemia lacks iron and carries less oxygen to
the tissues, and this causes periodontal problems. The symptoms
of anemia are extreme fatigue, weakness, confusion
and loss of concentration, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, feeling
cold, sadness, and depression. Getting oxygen to the tissue
is important for healthy gums, and the lack of it reduces
resistance to infection.
Anemia is most prevalent in women who are menstruating
or pregnant; and African Americans are prone to getting
sickle cell anemia. If you have this condition, you
should know that you can have serious calcium loss. The
chances of gum disease are great for anyone who has this
condition, because calcium is needed for strong teeth and
bones. If you have a shortage of calcium, it may affect the
supportive bone structure that holds the teeth in their
Remedies: Seaweed, which may be purchased in health
food stores, is the best source of iron. Liver is another good
source of iron. Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are also
good choices for people who are anemic. Apples contain
substances that help the body absorb the iron in foods such
as eggs and liver. Cherries are high in iron and are an excellent
blood builder. Anemia is most prevalent in women who
are menstruating or pregnant. Iron is deficient in these conditions,
and it is suggested that you seek advice from your
physician about taking supplements. And if your gum tissue
is spongy and loose, see your dental professional for a good