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Gum Disease and Pregnancy

Woman making a heart on her pregnant bellyPregnancy is a delicate time where extra care and attention are needed. Tobacco, alcohol, and smoking should be avoided at all costs in these scenarios, as the health of the body becomes especially important. Even the teeth and gums, which might seem to have nothing to do with the developing baby, can raise issues if infected.

Having good oral health for the mother, in turn, converts to optimal development for the child in the womb. Pregnancy should also be informed to the dentist so that regular checkups and dental care can be performed more suited to the situation. Here at Smile Family Dentistry, our team of professionals will make sure your teeth and gums are in their best condition, and your health is our priority. Please do not hesitate to reach out to get your dental care today.

Gingivitis and Premature Birth

According to the American Dental Association, around 60 to 75% of all pregnant women have the gum disease gingivitis. Because of hormone and diet changes due to pregnancy, the gums will be more prone to plaque, potentially leading to infections and bleeding. Gingivitis is a periodontal disease where the gums will be red and swollen. If left untreated, the supporting and protective bone of the teeth might be damaged, and the teeth can become loose.

Although not yet fully understood by scientists, periodontitis is commonly associated with premature birth and low birth weight. In fact, according to The Journal of the American Dental Association, being pregnant while having a chronic gum disease meant a four to seven times increase in the chance of premature birth, that is before week 37. In severe cases, it can be as early as week 32.

Cavities and Tumors

Apart from the risk of getting gingivitis, dental cavities can occur due to changes in eating habits too. These cavity-causing bacteria can directly transmit to the mouth of the baby, leading to cavities and special dental care for the child at a very young age.

During pregnancy, especially in the second trimester, a tumor can form on the upper gum line. These tumors are noncancerous and cannot spread. Simply put, a pregnancy tumor is just an exaggerated inflammatory response to some plaque or infection. Although the tumors usually disappear after birth, they may be required to be removed with a simple procedure under local anesthesia if eating is affected.

What You Can Do

Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day is the easiest path to good oral health. If morning sickness is making it difficult to brush your teeth, using a mouth rinse or water can help. Feel free to also change your toothpaste to a milder flavor.

Furthermore, sugary foods and drinks should be avoided. Healthy snacks such as vegetables, fruit, and plain yogurt are always welcomed. Give some extra care to your gums and teeth and consult a dentist if any discomforts or symptoms occur. There are a lot of things to worry about during pregnancy, and we are here to take care of all of your dental needs. Please contact us at Smile Family Dentistry or call us at 925-825-1130 to schedule an appointment today.

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Gum Disease & Pregnancy - Concord, CA • Smile Family Dentistry
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