If you've noticed that your gums become tender and bleed during your period, you're not alone. You might be surprised to know that this strange side-effect of PMS and periods is fairly common, and the irritation in your mouth isn't limited to your gums. Here are three annoying problems your mouth may experience during your period, and some tips on what you can do to ease the symptoms.
Having your gums become sensitive and bloody during a period is common enough for the disorder to have a special name: menstruation gingivitis. Unlike regular gingivitis, this disorder generally only lasts for a few days during your period, or during PMS. It's not triggered by poor oral hygiene, though if your gums are already in bad shape, that can make it worse. Instead, the gums become more sensitive because your body's hormonal balance shifts, and you experience increased bloodflow to the surface of the gums during this time. As a result, you sense discomfort more readily in your gums, and the slightest roughness may cause them to bleed.
Canker sores can strike at any time, but you're more likely to have canker sores erupt when you're stressed out. Unfortunately, many women experience higher levels of stress during their periods, due to pain, discomfort, and hormonal imbalances.
You may also experience swollen glands in your throat that may make you feel like you're developing a sore throat. During this part of your menstrual cycle, your progesterone levels drop, which may cause mild tissue inflammation. (Aside from bloating, this also is part of the reason why you may experience aches and pains during your period in your back.) This symptom normally doesn't last very long, so if it goes on for several days, see a doctor.
The best way to reduce your risk of these symptoms is to prepare for your period as best as you can. Take great care of your teeth by flossing, brushing, and seeing a dentist, such as Family First Dentistry LLC, regularly so you don't have any pre-existing gum disease or infections that make you feel even worse during your period.
If you struggle with canker sores, make an effort to stay relaxed during your period. Sleep more, meditate, listen to music, or sip chamomile tea.
Finally, if your throat bothers you, keep sipping tea and take an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. Numbing throat sprays may also help with the pain temporarily.
PMS and periods can cause a lot of general discomfort, but it may come as a surprise to know that they can upset your mouth, too. These symptoms are all fairly common, however, and as long as they're mild and don't last very long, you're probably experiencing a completely normal side effect.