Pregnancy, Oral Health, and Gum Disease

Pregnancy, Oral Health, and Gum Disease

Though most of us are aware that keeping a healthful lifestyle while pregnant is vital to both the mother’s and baby’s well-being, you may not be aware how important dental and periodontal health is. It has been well-documented that expectant mothers with periodontal disease are at risk for both pre-term births, and giving birth to a baby who is severely underweight. Read on to understand the importance of seeing a dentist, like West Linn family dentist Dr. Matt Roane, on a regular schedule when pregnant.

Poor Gum Health Can Lead to More Serious Issues

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, occurs when gum tissue becomes inflamed, and it is caused by unwanted bacteria. Gum disease can also affect the jawbone underneath the tooth if left untreated. Severe periodontitis can also cause receding gums, loose teeth, and even loss of teeth. Additionally, poor periodontal health can lead to more severe overall health issues like strokes, cardiovascular complications, and diabetes.

Regular Cleanings and Good Home Care Recommended

The dental and medical communities both agree that maintaining good oral and periodontal health is vital to a successful pregnancy. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that most treatments are not surgical and are safe for expectant mothers. In addition, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that regular dental cleanings and maintaining proper dental health can decrease the risk of difficulties during pregnancy.

Maintaining excellent home care of your teeth and gums can significantly reduce the risk of gum disease while pregnant. This includes regular flossing, brushing, adding vitamins to your diet, and seeing your dentist for exams on a regular basis. As being pregnant increases the amount of blood flowing through the body, the gums can become more sensitive, swell, or become tender. If, while pregnant, you notice that your gums are bleeding, painful, or you have loose teeth, you should see your dentist immediately.

Why Gingivitis and Gum Disease May Increase While Pregnant

An increase in progesterone levels when pregnant may be the culprit for why the bacteria causing gum disease and gingivitis grows more. The tissues in the gums can be very sensitive to plaque buildup and its associated toxins. In fact, pregnant women have an over 65% chance of developing gingivitis when pregnant. The possibility also rises after the second month and decreases when the woman gets to the ninth month.

We hope this post has helped you understand how important visiting a dentist while pregnant is to not only the mother’s health but that of the baby as well. So if you are pregnant, or considering becoming pregnant, see a dentist as soon as possible. Roane Family Dental is proud to offer a friendly and trained team who specializes in periodontal disease treatment, so schedule your appointment today.

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