Gum disease is among the most prevalent oral health issues in the country. In fact, nearly half of adults over 30 years old suffer from some form of periodontal disease. We know that gum disease doesn’t come without serious risks. Untreated gum disease not only causes tooth loss, but it is also linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, premature birth and other overall health issues. Understanding the warning signs as well as your specific risk of this oral health condition is critical. If you are a female, did you know that you may be more at risk for periodontal disease?
How Does Gum Disease Develop?
Gum disease starts when excessive oral bacteria and plaque exist in the mouth. When not cleaned off the gum line properly, plaque hardens into tartar. The gums become irritated and inflamed, and the bacteria breeds an infection within these soft tissues that support your teeth. If not treated, gum disease leads to deep pockets of gum tissues that breeds further infection and can even cause the gums to pull away from the tooth root. Damage to the underlying bone as well as tooth instability becomes a serious risk.
Why Are Females More Susceptible Than Males?
Gum disease can affect both men and women of all ages. However, women are at a greater risk for this oral health problem due to fluctuating and surging hormones. Hormones can influence the blood supply to the gums as well as alter your body’s response to plaque (or the toxins that result from plaque buildup). Therefore, when hormones surge, gum disease becomes more likely. Unfortunately, there are many situation and life stages that can cause hormone fluctuations in women, including the following:
- Monthly menstrual cycle
- Use of birth control pills
Gum Disease is Preventable
The good news is that surging female hormones doesn’t mean you will automatically battle gum disease. Gum disease is highly preventable – even in women. However, it is important to be aware of the times in which you may need to take extra measures to keep this oral health condition away. If you are pregnant or going through menopause, it becomes even more important to follow your routine oral hygiene routine (brushing and flossing) and see your dentist twice a year. Gum disease has a very difficult time developing in a clean and healthy mouth!
At the office of Dr. Wayne Suway, we understand a woman’s risk of gum disease and other oral health problems. We can develop a treatment plan to ensure your hormones don’t affect the health of your smile!