A recent review of women’s health studies has shown a link between women’s health issues and 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 change conditions in the mouth and allow bacteria to grow, enter the bloodstream, and intensify certain health issues such as bone loss, fetal death and 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 and the other health issues named above. The message the researchers wanted to get across to women is that they need to be even more vigilant about maintaining good oral health to prevent or 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 that hormones can cause gum problems during pregnancy and women who are attempting to get pregnant or are 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 or during pregnancy is now recommended.
Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque on the teeth and under the gums. Left untreated for extended periods of time, it can cause inflammation which can release harmful and toxic byproducts into the bloodstream. These toxins can result in tooth loss, bad breath, bloody gums, bone erosion in addition to the multitude of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and pregnancy problems.