Periodontal disease is an infection of the bones and tissues surrounding the teeth. If not treated properly, it can lead to serious oral health issues and even tooth loss. Research has shown that women may be more susceptible to periodontal disease during certain times in their lives when hormonal changes are taking place including puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
During puberty, an increased level of sex hormones causes increased blood circulation to the gums. This may cause an increase in the gum’s sensitivity and cause them to react more easily to irritants such as food particles and plaque. As a result, young woman who are going through puberty may experience swollen, red and tender gums.
During pregnancy, women may experience increased Gingivitis or Pregnancy Gingivitis beginning in the second or third month of pregnancy and increasing in severity throughout the eighth month. During this time, a pregnant woman may notice swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. Any infection, including Periodontal infection is a cause for concern during pregnancy. If you are planning to become pregnant, it is a good idea to include a periodontal evaluation as part of your prenatal care plan.
Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may also experience changes in their mouths. Menopausal Gingivostomatitis affects a small percentage of women and results in gums that look dry or shiny, bleed easily and range from abnormally pale to deep red.
At any age and during any stage of life, it is important for women to take good care of their dental health. Seeing a dental professional at least twice a year for a dental cleaning and exam is an important component of maintaining good oral health. Brushing and flossing regularly can also help to prevent periodontal disease and other serious oral health problems.
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