Women and Periodontal Disease

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Women’s health needs can differ from men’s, and even though women tend to pay closer attention to maintaining their health, they are more vulnerable to certain conditions. One of these is gum disease. Gum disease is an oral infection that is caused by bacteria. These bacteria first cause inflammation in the gum tissue, and as the gums become irritated, they pull away from the teeth, creating deep pockets and allowing the infection to push further into the oral cavity. Without treatment by our periodontists, gum disease can lead to tooth and bone loss.

During times of hormonal changes, your gums can become more sensitive. This allows bacteria to irritate and inflame the tissue more easily. You might notice that your gums bleed more often or that they look puffy and swollen. Some sex hormones work to inhibit bacterial growth, and when the concentration of these hormones decrease, your vulnerability to gum infection can rise. Common high-risk periods for gum disease in women include:

• Puberty
• Pregnancy
• Menstruation
• Perimenopause
• Menopause

You might not have control over the hormonal fluctuations that occur at these times, but you can take steps to protect your teeth and gums. Good brushing and flossing habits along with a balanced diet are crucial to gum health. If you are pregnant or perimenopausal, you might benefit from more frequent dental cleanings. Contact us today to learn more about gum disease in women or to schedule your next appointment.


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