Research from the Journal of Periodontology suggests women are more likely to floss, visit the dentist regularly, and even have cosmetic dental procedures while being less likely to smoke and drink excessive alcohol than men. Although women have historically been better caretakers of their teeth, females are more susceptible to gum disease than males for one defining reason, hormones. Fluctuating hormones can cause a variety of oral health problems, especially those related to gum health. Our Lake Forest dentist, Dr. Fondriest explains how different stages in a woman’s life correlate with different oral health problems.
Hormonal Changes Create Gum Health Issues
Girls going through puberty have many changes to deal with in a short amount of time. One of these changes includes oral health care. During puberty girls may experience swollen gums that appear deep red or sensitive. These symptoms closely match those of gingivitis, but will eventually subside once the girl’s estrogen and progesterone levels have reached a balance. These symptoms may also reappear right before a menstrual cycle and again subside once the period has started.
Gum Disease and Pregnancy Complications
Hormonal changes due to pregnancy also factor into a woman’s oral health. In fact, dental care is especially important for expectant mothers because it affects their infant’s health as well. Mothers with periodontal disease run the risk of low birth weight, premature birth, or other pregnancy complications. Gum irritation and inflammation is common from the third to eighth month of pregnancy, making prenatal dental checkups and cleanings that much more essential.
Dental Care in Your Forties and Beyond
Women with menopause or post menopause also face changes in their oral health. Stay tuned next week to discover why dental care over the age of forty is more important than ever. Call our Chicago dentist office at (847) 234-0517 to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Fondriest. We serve patients from Glenview, Winnetka, Highland Park, Lake Forest, North Shore, and the surrounding Chicago communities.