Why Women Are More Likely to Develop Oral/Dental Health Problems than Men

Changes in Hormonal Levels

It might seem very unfair, but women are more prone to developing oral health problems due to the way hormonal changes affect them. This is because changes in hormonal levels can affect the way the body responds to toxins produced by plaque buildup in the mouth, and the way the blood is supplied to the gum tissue. A good blood supply is essential for providing nutrients to the gum tissues so they can heal more easily.

During a woman’s lifetime, there are four different points at which hormonal fluctuations can increase their susceptibility towards developing oral health problems. These include puberty, certain times during the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy and during the menopause. Women who use the contraceptive pill are also more susceptible.

At the onset of puberty there is an increase in the production of progesterone and estrogen which increases the blood flow to the gums, and increases the sensitivity of gum tissue towards plaque. As a result the gums can become swollen and tender and are more likely to bleed during brushing and flossing.

During the menstrual cycle there is an increase in progesterone which can result in the gums becoming swollen and bright red, and increases the risk of them beginning to bleed. In addition women are more susceptible towards developing canker sores and their salivary glands may become swollen. This generally occurs a day or two before menstruation begins and clears up shortly afterwards.

Inflamed Gum Tissue

Women who take contraceptive pills containing progesterone may also experience inflamed gum tissue due to the levels of this hormone being increased in the body. If you are on the pill it is important to let your dentist at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center aware of this fact so they can tailor your treatment to take this into account.

Dental care is particularly important during pregnancy due to increased levels of progesterone. This can increase the risk of gum disease between the second and eighth months, causing a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. If you are pregnant, it is possible your dentist at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center will recommend more frequent checkups or more frequent professional cleanings. Regularly removing the build-up of plaque from your teeth and gums helps reduce the risk of this condition developing. Generally, it is far better to visit your dentist for a proper checkup before trying for a baby, as this will help ensure any conditions can be treated beforehand, particularly any signs of existing gum disease. This is important as it is thought the presence of gum disease increases the risk of pre-term births and low birth weight babies.

Oral Health Changes

There are quite a few oral health changes that can occur as part of aging. Some medications taken to treat other conditions can result in the development of dry mouth, a condition where insufficient saliva is made. This increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, as saliva is important for washing away bacteria. In addition, estrogen levels decline with the onset of the menopause, and some women will lose bone density. If bone is lost in the jaw it can eventually result in tooth loss.

Preventative Treatment

So what can be done to minimize these effects? Whenever you visit the Cosmetic Dentistry Center, you’ll find all your treatment, including preventative treatments are especially customized to deal with your particular health problems at that moment in your life. Proper professional dental care can do a lot to reduce these risks.

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