Written by Dentistry Today Thursday, 31 May 2012 20:00
Women’s health issues and gum disease are associated, according to a new study.
Charlene Krejci, associate clinical professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, concluded the link after a thorough study. The research showed that hormonal changes that happen during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause enable bacteria to grow in the mouth. The bacteria can then make health issues like bone loss worse than they already are.
The article containing the research (“Women’s Health: Periodontitis and its Relation to Hormonal Changes, Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes and Osteoporosis”) appears in the May issue of Oral Health and Preventive Dentistry.
To compile the research, 61 journal articles and about 100 studies were examined to see what the correlation between female hormones/health issues and gum disease actually was.
The best way to combat this problem is for women to visit the dentist at least once every six months or more frequently in the cases of pregnant women and women that suffer from bone loss. Many pregnant women develop some type of gum problem.
Scaling and planing of the roots of the teeth is now a recommended course of treatment for pregnant women. Severe gum disease that could require surgery does not take place until after the child is born.
Gum disease starts when there’s an influx of bacterial plaque on the teeth and under the gums, and it can result in irritation and inflammation when left untreated.