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Objectives/aim: The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects on the different pathological changes in the oral cavity due to puberty, in both males and females. Hormonal changes caused by menstrual cycles, ovulation, the use contraceptives, and increased testosterone and estrogen levels.

Methods: This topic will be analyzed by thoroughly reviewing research on articles that relate to the oral health of individuals specifically between the ages of 12-18 years old.

Results: Research presents significant evidence that supports changes occurring in the oral cavity during an individual’s stage of puberty. These stages include ovulation, pre-menstruation, menstruation and males transitioning through puberty. During the puberty stage adolescents are more prone to have increased gingival crevicular fluid (GCF), gingival index, and bleeding on probing while research has shown no significant findings on plaque indexes or probing depths. Changes occurring during the menstrual cycle tend to influence the periodontium and induce inflammatory conditions as well. While the periodontium and inflammatory cytokines play a major role in the effects during puberty, changes in diet during this phase can increase the risk of developing caries as well.

Conclusion: When adolescents are transitioning into adulthood, there are multiple changes their body goes through. During the literature review, many changes happen during puberty significantly affecting the oral cavity were discovered. These changes have both positive and negative effects. Variations in hormone levels and diet greatly influence the health of the oral cavity and can be a deciding factor on development or severity of oral disease.

Publication Date



puberty, gingiva, inflammation, hormones, cytokines, periodontium, oral health


Dental Hygiene

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Pellegrini

Dental Hygiene Student Scholarship

Date of Submission

April 2019

Puberty: Is Your Gingiva Having Mood Swings?