The Issues Women Face with Gum Disease
Posted on 6/5/2015 by Dr. Dennison
|Gum disease is not gender specific; however, women do face issues that men are not subjected to, making it a higher concern for women. Because women have different hormones and go through different cycles throughout their lives, they have special concerns that must be addressed in order to keep their gums healthy. The bottom line is that women need to take special care of their oral health needs as well as their physical needs during times of hormonal changes.
Puberty and Gum DiseasePuberty can affect a woman's gums negatively. As your hormone levels increase, namely progesterone and estrogen, your gums can become more sensitive due to the higher level of blood circulation to the area. When this occurs, your gums react negatively to certain things, such as food and bacteria. This can quickly result in gum irritation, such as swollen and bleeding gums. In addition, studies have shown that puberty causes a higher level of bacteria at the gum line, which can cause the first signs of gingivitis. The key here is to see your dentist regularly for proper cleanings to ensure that any tartar and calculus that has accumulated is immediately removed in order to reduce the risk of gum disease.
Menstruation and Gum DiseaseDuring the time that a woman is menstruating, she is more susceptible to gum disease. During this time of the month, the hormone levels of a woman are higher. This means that plaque can accumulate much faster than any other time of month. Because this occurs month after month, there is a large risk of gum disease occurring if the teeth are not properly taken care of. Typically, gingivitis that occurs as a result of a woman's period disappears once the menstruation has stopped, but proper care is essential to ensure that this is the case.
Menopause and Gum DiseaseAs your body changes yet again during menopause, your gums could be affected. Typically, because the hormone levels decrease, a woman's oral health is not directly affected. It is when women take hormones to replace what they have lost that their oral health suffers. This is typically the case when progesterone is replaced as this is what causes the increased blood flow to the gums, which can cause a greater accumulation of bacteria. In some rare cases, women suffer from gingivostomatitis, which is menopause induced gum disease. In addition, if you take medications to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, your saliva production could be reduced, which can directly cause gum disease.
Caring for a Woman's Mouth
Regardless of the area of a woman's cycle that you are in right now, the key factor is that you take care of your oral health. Because women are a greater risk for gum disease, they need to be extra vigilant about their oral hygiene habits and seeing the dentist for regular cleanings. Even if you do become susceptible to the early signs of gingivitis, if you see us regularly, we can help you cure it, preventing it from becoming worse. On a daily basis, however, make sure that you are brushing, flossing, and staying hydrated with water. This is the best way to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy no matter what your hormones may try to do to your body. If you are diligent about your oral health, you will be able to have a fighting chance against gum disease once and for all.
If you are a woman that is concerned about your risks for gum disease, please call our office for an appointment today!