Gum Disease and Heart Disease in Women

woman gum disease & heart diseaseThe natures of gum disease and heart disease (two of the most harmful oral and systemic diseases) do not differ from person to person, and without proper care, each can be equally harmful to everyone. However, many of the biological differences between men and women can mean that women may sometimes be at an increased risk of either. To explain, and to help you boost your fight against gum disease and heart disease, we take a look at why women should often be even more diligent in taking care of their oral and overall health.

Hormones and Oral Health

Puberty, pregnancy, birth, and menopause, together with a monthly menstrual cycle, equal a life full of changing hormones for most women. These constant changes can significantly influence your immune system’s ability to control harmful bacteria and fight infection. Where your oral health is concerned, this can translate into a greater risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease, both of which begin when dental plaque causes a bacterial infection in your oral tissues. When disease sets in and your gums swell and bleed, the germs in your mouth can enter your bloodstream and travel throughout your body. Some studies have even found traces of the germs responsible for gum disease clumped within the plaque that can clog your arteries and lead to heart attack and/or failure.

Heart Disease Symptoms in Women

One challenge that contributes to a higher mortality rate of heart disease among women than men is that heart disease symptoms can often be different than those in men. While chest pain is a common indicator, you should also be concerned if you experience any of the following;

  • Discomfort in your neck, shoulder, upper back, and/or abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue


To learn how to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life, subscribe to this blog, and visit Dr. Kania for a consultation. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. We now also offer the Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) for minimally-invasive, scalpel-free gum grafting. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, visit our office or contact us today at (760) 642-0711.