There are many health conditions that affect women more than men. Unfortunately, gum disease is one of them. Gum disease is more prevalent in those who drink alcohol, use tobacco and have poor oral hygiene habits. In addition, the risk for gum disease is also higher for women than it is for men. Why? You can blame your hormones!
Recent women’s health studies have shown a strong link between women’s health issues and gum disease. The root of these issues can be traced back to hormones. Women undergo hormonal fluctuations during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. When these hormone changes occur, it causes the environment in your mouth to change as well. Bacteria tends to grow at a greater rate, which can trigger gum disease and consequently lead to other health problems if the extra bacteria enters the bloodstream.
Pregnancy in particular can be a time of precaution when it comes to gum disease. Contrary to past belief, seeing your dentist during pregnancy is not only safe by strongly encouraged. If you leave gum disease untreated during pregnancy, you may be at risk for pre-term birth. Gum disease is essentially an accumulation of bacterial plaque under the gums. Harmful toxins can be released into the bloodstream if gum disease is not properly managed. Conditions ranging from tooth loss to heart disease can result.
At Mitzi Morris, DMD, we understand the unique dental concerns that women face. If you have gums that bleed easily or are red, tender or swollen, please come see us sooner rather than later. Being a woman has enough challenges of its own; gum disease doesn’t have to be one of them.