The Influence of Sex Steroid Hormones on Gingiva of Women

Eleni Markou1, *, Boura Eleana2, Tsalikis Lazaros3, Konstantinides Antonios3
1 Department of Periodontology and Implant Biology, School of Dentistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
2 Agathoupoleos 19, 54636, Thessaloniki, Greece
3 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Periodontology and Implant Biology, School of Dentistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

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© Markou et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http: // which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the 16 Kidonion Str, Thessaloniki, Greece; Tel: +30 6947128160; Fax: +30 2310420273; E-mail:


Steroid sex hormones have a significant effect on different organ systems. As far as gingiva are concerned, they can influence the cellular proliferation, differentiation and growth of keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Estrogen is mainly responsible for alterations in blood vessels and progesterone stimulates the production of inflammatory mediators. In addition, some micro-organisms found in the human mouth synthesize enzymes needed for steroid synthesis and catabolism. In women, during puberty, ovulation and pregnancy, there is an increase in the production of sex steroid hormones which results in increased gingival inflammation, characterized by gingival enlargement, increased gingival bleeding and crevicular fluid flow and microbial changes.

Key Words: Sex steroid hormones, gingiva, puberty, oral contraceptives, pregnancy, menopause.