Gum Disease and Pregnancy

posted in: Periodontics | 0

Pregnancy is a time in a woman’s life that is full of excitement and anticipation. Never do nine months seem to pass more slowly that when a woman is waiting to meet the new life that will join her family. Whether it is a woman’s first pregnancy or her fifth, the miracle of life that happens is truly remarkable.

Prenatal appointments are necessary for doctors to keep a close watch on the expectant mother and the development of her growing baby. However, it is also vital that pregnant mothers make dental visits a priority. The mouth is the most substantial entryway into the human body. It allows food and drink to nourish the body and supply it with necessary energy and life. The mouth is also home to millions of bacteria every single day. These bacteria are present inside the mouth to help break down particles that are left behind after eating and drinking. These bacteria are meant to be helpful, yet, as with most bacteria, they are notorious for causing infection when their numbers continue to grow.

A pregnant woman’s body goes through significant changes in just a matter of a few months. To think that life can be conceived, developed, and brought forth in just a nine-month period is truly astonishing. One of the most significant changes that occurs during pregnancy is the huge fluctuation of hormones. The same hormones that are responsible for the development of the placenta also have an impact on the gum tissues inside the mouth. “Pregnancy gingivitis” is the name given to a form of gum disease that develops in approximately 40% of pregnant women. Hormone fluctuations often cause the gums to become red, swollen, tender, raw, and have a decreased immune response. If the immunity of the mouth is weakened, the bacteria inside the mouth pose a huge risk. Bacteria can easily enter into the blood stream through raw, irritated gum tissues. Because the entire body is connected by a single blood supply, any infection inside the mouth can transfer to the placenta and growing baby. Gum disease has been directly linked to miscarriage, preterm labor, low birthweight babies, and stillbirth.

Understanding the huge risks that gum disease can cause during pregnancy will hopefully encourage you to make your oral health a priority.

At Pacific Sky Dental, our practice offers safe and comprehensive dentistry services for expectant mothers. Please call today to schedule an appointment for a thorough cleaning and exam.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Raymond Jone, Pacific Sky Dental