May is Women’s Health Month

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

According to a new survey by Delta Dental of Illinois, 1 in 5 women in Illinois have been told they have gum disease, which has been linked to several health problems affecting women. May is Women’s Health Month, and Delta Dental of Illinois wants to educate women about the unique oral health needs they face. Heart disease and stroke have connections to gum disease – and both take the lives of many women every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, and strokes kill twice as many women as breast cancer.

Hormonal Changes & Oral Health
Women are also more susceptible to developing gum disease because of hormonal changes during different life phases, such as puberty, menstruation cycles, pregnancy and menopause. Hormones alter the body’s reaction to plaque buildup and affect blood supply to gum tissue, increasing the risk for gum disease and other oral health problems. During menstruation, some women may experience swollen or bleeding gums, cold sores or canker sores. Menopause may affect women’s oral health by causing red or inflamed gums, oral pain and discomfort, burning sensations, altered taste and dry mouth.

Gum Disease Prevention
Delta Dental of Illinois offers the following tips to help women improve their oral health and help prevent gum disease:
• Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. The Delta Dental of Illinois survey found that more than 1 of 3 (35 percent) Illinois women only brush their teeth once a day or less.
• Visit your dentist regularly for an exam and cleaning. More than 1 of 3 (34 percent) Illinois women visit the dentist less than once a year.1
• If you’re pregnant, schedule a checkup with your dentist during the first trimester. Four of 10 Illinois women neglected to visit a dentist while pregnant.1
• Eat a well-balanced diet and limit sugary foods.
• If you smoke, seek out resources to help you quit.

For more tips on taking care of your oral health, visit

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