What is gum disease?
When plaque builds up in the mouth because of the reaction of food debris, saliva, and bacteria, it needs to be removed by regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing. This means that one must be consistent with the daily oral care regimen. IF not removed, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be taken off teeth by dental tools. Tartar is destructive on dental tissues, causing accelerated decay and a severe infection. Bacteria will attack the gums, the teeth, and even the bone, if this condition is not controlled. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is very common, affecting most adults during their lifetime. However, women are more at risk than men, due to their unique life stages.
Why are women more at risk?
Gum Disease and Women, Some people are naturally predisposed to gum disease because of their genes. Others find it difficult to keep off gum disease because of their hectic lifestyle or habits, which include not giving enough attention to oral health. Women face issues because their bodies undergo hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. These changes affect the supply of blood to the gums, which in turn exaggerates the irritability of gums and teeth caused by plaque. For instance:
During their period, some women end up with sensitive/ bleeding gums, canker sores, and irritable salivary glands. Special cleaning or topical anesthetics may be prescribed by your dentist to ease discomfort.
Inflamed gums occur when oral contraceptives are taken.
Gingivitis during pregnancy can cause tender gums that bleed easily. This is especially seen from the second gestation month onwards, as hormone levels elevate. More frequent cleaning is therefore needed during the second and third trimesters.
After reaching menopause, even your taste buds can be affected. A burning feeling, dry mouth (due to decreased flow of saliva), and sensitivity to cold and hot food may be experienced.