That's right, just like hot flashes and PMS, a woman’s periodontal health can be impacted by increased sex hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, even if her oral hygiene is maintained.
And get this: Pregnant women who have periodontal disease are at a greater risk of delivering a baby that is too early and too small, according to the Academy of Periodontology.
Similarly, Charlene Krejci, associate clinical professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found mouth bacteria that enters the blood stream is associated with fetal death.
According to Krejci, there's definitely a gender-specific connection between women's hormones, gum disease, and specific women’s health issues.
“Although women tend to take better care of their oral health than men, the main message is women need to be even more vigilant about maintaining healthy teeth and gums to prevent or lessen the severity of some of women-specific health issues,” Krejci said in an university press release.
She recommended in addition to the brushing and flossing daily regimen "that women visit the dentist at least every six months, and more if there are any gum problems found or if you suffer from bone loss or are pregnant."
Since it’s widely known that hormones cause some women gum problems during pregnancy, Krejci said that it’s advisable for women who already susceptible to gum disease to get their oral problems treated before becoming pregnant.
"Although pregnant women were once discouraged from seeing the dentist until after giving birth, she said that scaling and planing the roots of teeth to eliminate some gum disease is now recommended during pregnancy. Severe gum disease requiring surgery is still generally postponed until after the baby’s birth," according to the release.
Her overview of the literature was reported in the May 2012 issue of Oral Health and Preventive Dentistry.
Lynette Summerill is an award-winning writer and Scuba enthusiast who lives in San Diego with her husband and two beach loving dogs.