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Jason E. Wagle, DDS, MS

Mark A. Moxley, DDS

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Moxley Wagle Periodontics

825 South Hillside
Wichita, KS 67211-3099
Phone : 316-685-2731
Fax : 316-685-6946

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Tuesday - 8 am - 5 pm
Wednesday - 8 am - 5 pm
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Do Men and Women Have Different Gum Disease Risk Factors?

Posted on 1/13/2016 by Dr. Wagle
A man and a woman couple at risk of gum disease!Are you at risk of developing gum disease? Do you know exactly what the risk factors are? Many people believe that both men and women will have the same risk factors when it comes to periodontal disease, but this isn't quite true. By better understanding your risk factors, you can take the precautions to properly care for your mouth and prevent gum disease.

Women and Gum Disease

Women have some unique things going on in their bodies, and these can actually lead to an increased risk of developing gum disease. Hormones are one such risk factor, and when hormone levels are increased, the gums will become more sensitive.

During pregnancy, menstruation, or menopause, women may notice that their gums are bleeding more easily, or they may appear red and swollen. However, women should never take this as a sign that they need to stop flossing and brushing, and it is important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine.

During pregnancy, developing gum disease is especially common. Hormone levels will be fluctuating during this time, causing increased gum sensitivity. Likewise, expectant mothers often have a lot on their plates, so it may be more likely for them to ignore things like their own oral health.

Menopause can also bring about other changes to the mouth. Many women going through this change experience a strange taste in their mouth, color changes to the gums, painful gums, or dry mouth. During these times, more frequent cleanings will be needed, and a dentist may be able to address some of the symptoms of dry mouth. There are a couple of pregnancy-related conditions that might develop:

•  Pregnancy gingivitis. Gum disease during pregnancy may actually increase the chances that a baby will be born early. Even women without a history of gingivitis pre-pregnancy can develop the condition once they are expecting.
•  Pregnancy tumors. Known as pyogenic granulomas, these tumors are benign growths found on the gums. They usually show up during the second trimester, and women with pregnancy gingivitis are most likely to see them.

Men and Gum Disease

While men may not have the same risk factors for periodontal disease than women, they aren't any less at risk. In fact, the American Academy of Periodontology suggests that men are significantly more likely to have gum disease. While over 56% of men have gum disease, only about 38% of women have the condition. It is thought that men may be less likely to visit the dentist than women, resulting in poor dental hygiene and inadequate removal of plaque and tartar. However, men need to make their oral health more of a priority as gum disease can affect heart disease, certain cancers, impotence, and prostate health.

Preventing Gum Disease

Both men and women need to take proper precautions when it comes to preventing gum disease. Even though risk factors might make certain people more likely to develop the disease, it can happen to everyone when the bacteria in plaque are allowed to build up between the teeth and gums. Adding the following habits to your oral hygiene routine can help in your quest to avoid gum disease:

•  Use mouthwash in order to reduce plaque and remaining food particles that flossing and brushing could miss.
•  Brush your teeth after meals to remove plaque and food debris, and don't neglect your tongue and the gums.
•  Foss daily to get stubborn food particles that might be stuck in between the teeth.
•  Stop smoking, as smoking can further aggravate gum disease.

If you suspect that you might be developing gum disease and need additional information on how to reverse the condition, contact us today to set up an appointment.

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