Women and Periodontal Health: Special Considerations
Throughout a woman’s life, she will experience hormone fluctuations, due to causes both natural and otherwise, that will affect the health of her gums.
Here we have highlighted four common life events for a woman that can result in periodontal related health issues:
Puberty: During the pre-teen and teen years, a girl may experience swollen, red and tender gums. This is due to an expected increase in progesterone and estrogen, which cause increased blood circulation in the gums, in turn causing enhanced sensitivity and irritation.
Menstruation: During menstruation, some women experience bleeding or red, swollen gums. While it is uncomfortable, it usually resolves on its own after the period has started.
Birth Control: Because oral contraceptives are made of synthetic hormones, you may experience swelling, bleeding or tenderness in the gums while taking them.
Pregnancy: Oral health is especially important during a pregnancy. Because periodontal disease is an infection, it could pose a rare but nonetheless possible risk to a baby. Additionally, the link between diabetes and gum disease is further justification for careful monitoring of periodontal health during pregnancy, because blood sugar is often affected negatively during pregnancy.
Menopause and Post-Menopause: During menopause and after, women will go through changes in their mouths that may cause discomfort, such as dry mouth, pain and altered taste. A small percentage of women may also experience dry, shiny gums that bleed easily. These women are usually helped by estrogen supplements.