Women Account for 75% of Periodontal Visits: Why and What to Do About It

Despite their typically better dental hygiene, women account for about 75% of periodontal visits. Studies indicate that female hormones contribute to the higher incidence of gum disease in women. Although fluctuations in hormones do not cause gum disease in women, these changes do make women more prone to it.

Key times when hormonal changes can take their toll on a woman’s oral health include:

  • Puberty: Studies show that elevated hormone levels may cause an increase in gum sensitivity and lead to a greater inflammatory reaction. This can cause gums to become swollen, turn red, and feel tender.
  • Menstruation: During menstruation, some women may experience menstruation gingivitis, which may cause gum bleeding, redness, or swelling of the gums between the teeth.
  • Menopause: Hormonal changes may cause women to experience discomfort in their mouths, including pain, burning sensations in the gum tissue, or mouth sores.
  • Pregnancy: Changes in hormonal levels are in full force during pregnancy, especially in month two. Peaking at month eight, this can cause gums to become swollen, red and feel tender.

It is especially important to remind your women patients to pay attention to their dental health during pregnancy. Let them know that recent research links gum disease during pregnancy to low birth weight and other complications including stillbirth.

Although women are more prone to periodontal disease, both men and women should strive for periodontal health by:

  • Brushing twice each day
  • Flossing at least once each day
  • Seeing a dental professional regularly
  • Getting a comprehensive periodontal evaluation every year

In order to help avoid heartbreak like this family experienced, be sure to share this story and advice with your patients, especially those who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. Have your patients who may be in this situation contact our office [mailto:doctor@drgaryperlman.com] here or call (904) 731-1324 to set up a consultation. With your help, we can reduce gum disease, increase awareness and treatment and help your patients have the best dental health possible.