When most women go through their monthly cycle, chances are their teeth and gums aren't high on the list of things they're thinking about. However, it may surprise you to learn that this time of the month can indeed impact your oral health, even if your oral health seems to be fine the rest of the time. If you're wondering why your gums are sore or bleeding during your period, here's what you should know.

PMS and Period Bodily Impact

When the body goes through PMS and a period, there are a lot of different factors at work. For example, the body releases certain hormones, like progesterone, which facilitate the shedding of the uterine lining, thus leading to a period. However, your body is one unit, and just because a hormone is released to target a specific area doesn't mean it doesn't have an impact elsewhere, too.

When these hormones are released during PMS and your period, you can end up having additional symptoms, like lower back pain and overall bloating. Your gums can be impacted at the same time in many of the same ways. You may notice that your gums seem swollen, red, or bleed with very little pressure or contact. Thankfully, these symptoms usually subside in a few days, but if it's a recurring problem, it's not something you should ignore.

Contributing Factors

While it's entirely possible for a woman to have these issues but still have fairly good dental hygiene, every speck of plaque, tartar, and bacteria in your mouth can potentially make matters worse. For many women, these symptoms subside completely after having a thorough dental cleaning at the dentist's office. This is because removing the excess plaque, tartar, and bacteria helps to relieve and reduce inflammation in the gums. When your period rolls around and those hormones are released, without this inherent inflammation, you'll likely notice that your symptoms are lessened or eliminated outright.

Preventing and Controlling

If you're having this problem now or have in the past, the good news is that there's still plenty you can do about it. For starters, head to a dentist's office for a cleaning. It's best to do this when you're not actively on your cycle, as this can make your gums feel more sensitive and make the cleaning unpleasant as a result. However, you should talk to your dentist about your symptoms, as well, so that they know there's an established issue.

With a thorough dental cleaning, your symptoms will likely subside or go away entirely. From there, all you need to do is to go to a dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and maintain your dental hygiene at home as best you can with flossing and brushing. With these simple steps, you'll experience relief and have one less pain or ache around that time of the month.

For more information about preventative dental care, talk to a local dentist.