Gum Disease: Are Women More at Risk?

Gum disease is one of the most common oral health issues that Americans face. Unfortunately, it is not taken as seriously as it should be. While initial stages of gum disease (gingivitis) is marked by red, swollen and bleeding gums, there are more advanced stages that can produce serious damage to your oral health and body health. Untreated gum disease is associated with tooth loss as well as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other serious medical conditions.

How Does Gum Disease Develop?

Gum disease begins with the presence of bacteria and plaque in the mouth. When these substances are not cleaned from the gum line, bacteria continues to breed and plaque hardens into tartar. This irritates the soft tissues that support your teeth, causing inflammation, bleeding and redness within the gums. If allowed to progress, the infection within the gums can destroy underlying tissues and bones, leading to gum recession, deep pockets of tissue and tooth instability.

Why Are Females More Susceptible?

Gum disease can affect both men and women of all ages. However, women are at particular risk for this oral health problem due to fluctuating and surging hormones. Hormones not only impact the blood supply to the gums, but they can also influence your body’s response to plaque (or the toxins that result from plaque buildup). In general, females can have five situations or life stages in which hormone fluctuations occur:

  • Puberty
  • Monthly menstrual cycle
  • Use of birth control pills
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause

Gum Disease is Preventable

As noted above, hormone surges are present through many stages of a woman’s life. Since women are susceptible to gum disease during these times, it becomes critical that females take all measures to prevent periodontal problems. This should include diligent brushing and flossing each day as well as routine dental cleanings every six months.

Many women make the mistake of slacking off on their oral hygiene or skipping dental appointments when they are pregnant. Unfortunately, this could threaten the health of yourself and your unborn baby, as premature birth is linked to untreated gum disease in expectant moms. Even if you have morning sickness or a sensitive gag reflex during pregnancy, make every effort to put your dental health as a priority.

At Manhattan Dental Design, we understand a woman’s risk of gum disease and other oral health problems. We can develop a treatment plan to ensure your gender doesn’t affect the health of your smile!

Posted on behalf of Manhattan Dental Design



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