It's not your imagination — some women experience sensitivity in their gums during that time of the month or in the time leading up to it. If you've noticed that your gums feel painful, tender, or sore during your menstrual cycle, then here's what you need to know about what's causing it and what you can do to try and make it better.
This problem is primarily due to your fluctuating hormones during this time of the month. As progesterone and estrogen levels shift as PMS approaches, it can cause tenderness and soreness in tissues all across the body. This is why some women experience lower back pain and even pain in their legs leading up to their periods. It tends to manifest differently in many women, and some don't even recognize that there's a connection between their cycle and their gums going haywire.
Sadly, this condition isn't just limited to period timing. For many women, the issue extends beyond that. For example, those who take birth control pills may notice that their gums feel significantly uncomfortable or swollen while they're taking the active hormone pills, only for the pain to improve while they're on the short set of sugar pills. This is because the sugar pills contain no hormones, so your body returns to a level of normalcy during this time.
Other women will have this problem during pregnancy and menopause. It's a difficult condition to be sure, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing you can do about it.
What to Do
There are a few things you can do about this condition.
The first is to visit a dentist. Many women don't know that they have underlying low-level gum disease when they're having this problem. In this instance, the hormone shift makes the problem worse to the point where it becomes noticeable. However, by treating the underlying gum disease, you can potentially make yourself symptom-free during PMS and the rest of your cycle.
Another thing to do is to start taking better care of your gums at home. If you don't already, brush twice a day. And if you don't floss, start doing that, too. These are the best things that you can do for yourself to maintain good oral health and to protect your gums from developing symptoms of gum disease.
Gum problems don't affect every woman, but it's not unheard of for women to go through this. If you're having a hard time with gum sensitivity or pain at any point, go visit a dentist for help.