How Gum Disease Impacts Men vs Women

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How Gum Disease Impacts Men vs Women

Nearly half of American adults suffer from some form of gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, the risk of this condition is higher for people who use tobacco products, have crooked teeth, have braces or bridgework, grind or clench their teeth, or have poor nutritional habits.

In general, the symptoms of gum disease include:

  • tender, receding, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • bad breath
  • moving teeth
  • pus between gums and teeth

If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, contact Smiles 4 Grant Park to schedule a consultation. Our dentist Dr. Abbey Lee can examine your teeth and determine the root cause of your symptoms. However, it’s important to note that periodontal disease affects men and women in different ways. Here are the different ways in which gum disease affects men and women:

Gum Disease in Men

Research has found that 56.4% of men have some type of gum disease. For men, maintaining good oral and gum health is vital for preventing other health problems such as:

  • Heart Disease: Researchers believe that having periodontal disease may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. They believe that inflammation is the connection between the two. Therefore, maintaining healthy gums can potentially reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Cancer: Research shows that men with a history of gum disease are more likely to develop cancer compared to men with healthy gums. Men who’ve had gum disease before are also more likely than women to develop kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and blood cancers.
  • Prostate Health: A few studies have shown a connection between gum inflammation and prostatitis. In one experiment, 21 out of 27 men experienced improvement in their prostatitis symptoms after receiving treatment for periodontal disease.

To help prevent these and other health issues, visit our Grant Park dentist at least twice a year for regular dental cleanings and examinations.

Gum Disease in Women

Gum disease is not as prevalent in women as it is in men, but still, 38.4% of women have symptoms of it. These factors can increase a woman’s risk of periodontal disease:

  • Puberty: During this time, increased levels of hormones like progesterone and estrogen cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This could lead to increased gum sensitivity and irritation caused by food particles and plaque.
  • Menstruation: Before her period, a woman may experience bleeding gums, swollen gums, and sores on the insides of her cheeks. These usually clear up after the period has started. 
  • Pregnancy: Formed by inflamed gum tissue, pregnancy gingivitis may develop around the second or third month of the first trimester. A visit to your dentist can stop your gingivitis symptoms from progressing.
  • Menopause and Post-Menopause: Increased levels of progesterone during this time may cause the gums to look dry or shiny, change to a different shade of red, and be sensitive to hot and cold foods.

Unlike with men, periodontal disease doesn’t usually cause women to develop cancer or heart disease.

Prevent Gum Disease with Your Grant Park Dentist Today

Both men and women should practice good oral hygiene habits to keep the symptoms of periodontal disease at bay. Smiles 4 Grant Park is here to help you maintain healthy gums and teeth during every stage of life.  To receive professional, gentle dental care for your gums, contact our friendly team today at 404.328.7177.

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