Bozart Family Dentistry Tip of the Week: Can Hormonal Changes in Women Lead to Gum Disease?

By / Health and Wellness / Monday, 04 December 2017 05:00

A recent women's health study may have found a link between hormonal changes in women, and other women's health issues, including gum disease. Hormonal changes that women naturally go through such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause have been shown to fluctuate women’s hormones so much so that they can actually change conditions in the mouth. These new conditions may allow bacteria to grow, enter the bloodstream, and intensify certain health issues such as bone loss, fetal death and even pre-term birth.
The data from the study reviewed 61 journal articles with nearly 100 studies that helped the scientists determine that women’s hormonal changes do in fact have a relationship to gum disease, as well as the other health issues previously mentioned. The message the researchers wanted to get across to women is that they need to be even more vigilant about maintaining good oral health in order to prevent or at least lessen the impact of these health-related issues.
Of particular interest in this research are women’s hormones during pregnancy. There is existing research that states women's hormones can cause gum problems during pregnancy. Therefore, women who are pregnant or even trying to get pregnant need to be extra cautious about the state of their dental health. There was a time when women were discouraged from visiting the dentist while pregnant, but this study shows evidence that a dental cleaning and examination before and/or during pregnancy is now recommended.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque on the teeth and under the gums. If left untreated for extended periods of time, it can cause inflammation in the gums which can release harmful and toxic byproducts into the bloodstream. These toxins can result in tooth loss, bad breath, bloody gums, and bone erosion in addition to the multitude of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and pregnancy problems.
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