Gum Disease and Pregnancy

Oklahoma City OK General Dentist

Pregnancy is an exciting time full of anticipation. For women who are pregnant for the first time, they are excited to experience all of the “firsts,” while women who are on a consecutive pregnancy are excited to experience many things again. With showers to attend, doctor appointments to keep, and weight gain to manage, it is also important to remember to visit your dentist. A pregnant woman’s mouth is vulnerable to developing gum disease and causing significant pregnancy complications. Many women avoid visiting the dentist during pregnancy because they are concerned that routine dental treatment could harm their growing baby. This misconception often leads women to putting their baby at potential risk. It is imperative to understand that oral concerns during pregnancy can be extremely dangerous to a woman’s health and to her unborn baby.

Women experience many changes throughout their pregnancy, but one of the most significant changes is the huge fluctuations in hormones. Nine months sounds like a long time when a woman is anticipating meeting her baby for the first time, but the truth is that nine months is a short amount of time to experience such drastic changes. The hormones that are responsible for the developing placenta inside the uterus are the same hormones that impact the gum tissues within the mouth. Huge hormonal fluctuations often cause the mouth to react in negative ways. “Pregnancy gingivitis” is the term given to the condition in which pregnant women experience gums that are swollen, tender, bleed easily, and are prone to infection.

There are millions of bacteria taking up residence inside your mouth each day. These oral bacteria have the job of helping to break down tiny particles that are left behind after eating and drinking. While these bacteria mean to be “helpful,” they are actually quite harmful if allowed to linger inside the mouth. Over just a short amount of time, bacteria begin producing acids to help them break down particles. It is these acids that cause damage by eroding the tooth enamel and causing infection in the gum tissues.

What is the most important thing to understand is that an infection inside the mouth can easily travel through the blood stream and straight to the uterus. Research has proven that gum disease has a direct link to miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birthweight babies. Making your oral health a priority is necessary all the time, especially during pregnancy.

Contact Taylor Dental & Implant Center today to schedule an appointment.

Posted on Behalf of Taylor Dental & Implant Center