Gum Disease and Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time in life where dramatic changes occur over a short amount of time. While nine months often feels like a long time to wait to meet a new baby that you have been anticipating, nine months is truly a short amount of time for a new life to be conceived, developed, and born into the world. During that time, a lot of changes are occurring inside a woman’s body – and it is way more than just a growing abdomen. The entire blood supply of a pregnant woman doubles, the respiratory system rises to compensate for increased maternal oxygen consumption, the breasts become larger and change for the development of milk production, and the hormone levels drastically fluctuate. These changes, on top of weight gain and the development of a baby, are phenomenal. Yet, the changes in hormones can have an effect on the oral health that can cause significant consequences, which is why visiting the dentist during pregnancy is so important.
Periodontal disease, or severe gum disease, is a serious oral health concern for anyone – pregnant or not. However, gum disease during pregnancy can pose life-threatening risks to a mother and her unborn child.
Inside every mouth live millions of bacteria. If that encourages you to floss and brush your teeth more regularly, then good! These bacteria are meant to help your mouth by breaking down particles that are left behind after eating and drinking. However, as all bacteria go, there are good and bad effects. Because the body has a single blood stream, the blood supply that travels through the uterus also travels through the mouth. If bacteria enter into the blood stream and cross through to the placenta, severe consequences are at stake.
During pregnancy, the gum tissues are vulnerable to “pregnancy gingivitis” where they become easily irritated. If the gums are irritated and allow bacteria to enter them, they can cross over to the growing baby of a pregnant mother. Research has proven a direct link between gum disease and miscarriage, preterm labor, low birthweight babies, and stillbirth. All of these devastating effects can be avoided with proper oral care during pregnancy. A thorough exam and cleaning will help keep gum disease at bay, and if symptoms come up, they can be treated successfully.
Dental Care Center at Kennestone cares about your oral health. We offer safe and effective dentistry services to expectant mothers. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. We care about you and your unborn baby.
Posted on Behalf of Dental Care Center at Kennestone