Impact of Hormones on Mouth Ulcers

Impact of Hormones on Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are small lesions that appear within your mouth, causing irritation and discomfort as described by a family dentist in Andover, MA. Hormones serve a crucial function in controlling our bodies, especially in women. Women are more sensitive to oral health due to the particular hormonal changes that occur in their bodies. As a result of these changes, women are more susceptible to periodontal disease and other oral disorders during particular stages of their life. Women, in general, have heightened immunity but are more susceptible to illness. In this article, we will discuss how hormones cause mouth ulcers to aggravate.

While they are not contagious and often heal on their own within a week or two, they may be extremely bothersome. For many women, these ulcers appear to coincide with hormone swings. Let’s look into the relationship between hormones and mouth ulcers in women. 

Can Hormonal Cycle Impact Mouth Ulcers?

Women experience hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives, most notably during:

  • Menstrual Cycle: The rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone throughout the menstrual cycle can affect the immune system and mucosal (tissue lining) health in the mouth, making it more susceptible to developing ulcers.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy is a hormonal rollercoaster. Fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) can contribute to mouth ulcers in some women.
  • Perimenopause and Menopause: The decline in estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can lead to changes in the oral cavity, including a decrease in saliva production and increased vulnerability to mouth ulcers.

How Hormones Affect Mouth Ulcers?

The exact reason why hormonal changes trigger mouth ulcers is not fully understood. However, some potential mechanisms are at play:

  • Weakened Immune System: Hormonal fluctuations can temporarily suppress the immune system, making the body more susceptible to developing ulcers due to minor irritations or bacterial imbalances in the mouth.
  • Inflammation: Hormones can influence inflammatory processes in the body. Fluctuations might trigger inflammation in the oral tissues, leading to ulcer formation.
  • Stress: Hormonal changes frequently correspond with higher stress levels. Stress is known to worsen canker sores, possibly by weakening the immune system.

Hormonal variations are a major contributor to mouth ulcers in women. Understanding the hormonal link, practicing proper dental hygiene, and adopting healthy lifestyle choices will help you avoid pain and keep your smile healthy. If you are concerned about frequent or serious ulcers, see your dentist or doctor for specific advice.