Just as your whole-body health can change with age, your oral health also changes throughout various life stages. Women, in particular, may see fluctuations in their gum health in spite of maintaining a good oral care routine both at home by brushing and flossing and with routine dental appointments in our Gasport, NY dental office.
Red, inflamed, puffy gums can seem to develop with no apparent cause, but it’s actually the chemistry of the body that might make it harder to keep gum tissue healthy. Hormonal fluctuations impact periodontal health – particularly at times when big changes are happening in the body.
Expecting moms who have had no history of gum disease may suddenly find that flossing and brushing causes bleeding or discomfort. Pregnancy gingivitis is a common occurrence due to the increased blood flow to the gums caused by hormonal fluctuations, particularly during the second trimester of pregnancy. An ultra-soft toothbrush and gentle flossing technique can make home care more comfortable during this time.
We also invite you to Dentistry by Doctor Kaplansky for an evaluation as you prepare for your little one’s arrival. More frequent dental cleanings and supervision by your dentist or hygienist can help mom stay healthy. Healthy moms mean healthy babies, and we are here to help.
A Child’s Wellness Begins before Birth
Because pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of periodontal infections, we recommend you let us know if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, so we can help eliminate or manage gum disease.
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen gum tissue
- Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Gum recession
- Pain while chewing
Periodontal disease has been linked to low birth weight in babies, so helping expecting mothers maintain their oral health throughout pregnancy is essential for a healthy little one.
Menopause and Periodontal Disease
While research is still being done between the link between gum disease and menopause, other systemic changes, such as dry mouth, bone loss, and decreasing estrogen can all impact the teeth and gums. If you notice these changes during menopause, contact your Gasport, NY dental team for a dental exam where we can customize a treatment plan to meet your body’s changing needs. Age does not mean you have to give up healthy teeth and gums or a beautiful smile.
Breast Cancer and Gum Disease – An Oral-Systemic Link
A study completed by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) of over 73,000 women concluded that post-menopausal women with gum disease are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Because periodontal disease is an inflammatory illness, the exact cause-effect relationship is still unclear, although gum disease has also been linked to heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.
Breast cancer is by no means a woman-only disease, as instances of breast cancer in men are also on the rise. It’s important to remember that your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body – no matter your age or gender.
Your Gasport, NY dentist, Dr. Igor Kaplansky, is happy to help customize an oral health treatment plan that supports happy, healthy smiles at every age and life stage. Give us a call to book your next dental appointment.