Gum disease can impact a woman’s periodontal health in a variety of ways throughout her life.
During puberty, an increased level of hormones, such as progesterone and possibly estrogen, causes increased blood circulation to the gums. This may cause an increase in the gum’s sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque. During this time, the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender.
Occasionally, some women experience menstruation gingivitis. Women with this condition may experience bleeding gums, bright red and swollen gums and sores on the inside of the cheek. Menstruation gingivitis typically occurs right before a woman’s period and clears up once her period has started.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy and increased blood flow may make women more susceptible to gum disease. Additionally, some studies have suggested that pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small.
Menopause and Post-Menopause
Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may experience changes in their mouths. They may notice dry mouth, pain and burning sensations in the gum tissue and altered taste, especially salty, peppery or sour.