Hormonal changes that take place during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can influence women's oral health, according to a study in Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry.
Charlene Krejci, DDS, an associate clinical professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, reviewed 61 journal articles with nearly 100 studies for a collective answer on whether hormones have a relationship to periodontal disease and specific women's health issues (Oral Health Prev Dent, May 2012, Vol. 10:1, pp. 83-92).
She found that female hormones that fluctuate throughout women's lives can change conditions in the mouth that allow bacteria to grow, enter the blood, and exacerbate certain health issues, such as bone loss, fetal death, and preterm births.
"There's definitely a gender-specific connection between women's hormones, gum disease, and specific health issues impacting women," Dr. Krejci stated in a university press release. "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."