Are Women At A Heightened Risk Of Gum Disease?

Are Women At A Heightened Risk Of Gum Disease?

While both sexes can suffer from gingivitis and periodontitis, there are times when women might be at more risk than men.

Gum disease, thankfully, is now more widely accepted to be a problem and something that we should all pay more attention to. While most people do tend to take care of their teeth fairly well, the gums have often been neglected a little, perhaps because they are not so ‘important’ aesthetically. As readers of our regular blogs will know though, gum diseases can result in not only unpleasant symptoms such as sore or bleeding gums and bad breath but can cause damage to the bone that secures our teeth firmly in place. When this happens, loose teeth and even tooth loss may follow.

Good overall oral care is essential to prevent and/or manage this problem. A good quality brushing and flossing regime is essential, as are visits to the hygienist at our popular Chelmsford dentist. While this advice applies to both men and women, there are particular circumstances where women may be at an increased risk of gum disease which we will take a look at now.


As any woman who has been pregnant will be fully aware (as may their partners), being pregnant leads to significant hormonal changes which can bring with it a lot of symptoms, from tiredness to mood swings. It also has physical effects too and this includes in the area of oral health. These hormonal changes can lead to an increase in blood flow to the gums which can make them significantly more sensitive and sometimes very sore. This can make them uncomfortable to brush and floss and is likely to mean that they become more vulnerable to periodontal diseases.

This problem is worsened by the fact that the immune system also changes and can affect the body’s ability to fight off the bacteria that can lead to gum disease. As you can see, this mixture is a recipe for gum problems. If that were not enough, morning sickness can also affect the gums making them even more sore and painful than before.

If you are pregnant, it is important that you let your dentist at Blue Sky Dental know so that they can monitor your oral health during this time. Working together with the dental hygiene team, we can help you to manage your teeth and gum health during this time.


As you might expect, hormonal changes during the menopause can present a variety of problems with some of these potentially affecting oral health. The fluctuations in hormone levels can present symptoms such as a dry mouth, for example. As we know from previous blogs, this presents bacteria with the opportunity to thrive and grow. This in combination with a reduced saliva flow to wash away the potentially damaging bacteria can lead to periodontal diseases becoming more likely.

While the above directly affects the gums, there are two other more general dental issues that can also arise during this time. One of these is receding gums. Not only can this change the aesthetics of someone’s smile but also exposes the less well protected part of the tooth that normally lies below the gum line. When this happens, both tooth sensitivity and tooth decay are more likely to occur. Finally, ‘burning mouth syndrome’ can cause some significant discomfort in those who are affected by it.

As you can see then, there are two stages of many women’s lives where they are at a greater risk of gum disease and other oral health issues than men are. Both can be challenging times too, with other issues such as tiredness and exhaustion also potentially leading to the skipping of teeth and gum cleaning, especially at bedtime. All in all then, while you may do your best to look after your teeth and gums at these times, this is best done in conjunction with our Chelmsford dental team.

Generally, both our dentists and hygienists see patients every six months or so for their routine check ups. It will depend on each individual situation of course, but it may be necessary to see us more frequently during these times. This can help us to help you manage any symptoms and problems that might arise.

If you are expecting a child or are going through the menopause and have not already advised your dentist of this, now might be a good time to contact us to make an appointment to discuss your oral health during this period. If you would like to arrange an appointment with either the dentist or our hygienist, you can do so by using our online form on the website or by calling Blue Sky Dental today on 01245 211070.

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