During pregnancy, between 50-70% of women will develop gingivitis. Gingivitis, while normally a serious condition, poses even more risks for mothers-to-be. In numerous studies (like this), low birth weight and pre-term birth are associated with gum disease, both of which are very serious and put the baby at risk for conditions such as respiratory disorders, blindness, and learning disabilities.
Why are pregnant women more at risk? Changes in the hormone, progesterone, occur during pregnancy. This change allows gingivitis-causing bacteria to grow more easily and gum tissue will also be more sensitive to plaque. Sometimes pregnancy tumors (non-cancerous growths) will form on inflamed gum tissue. If a woman has gingivitis before becoming pregnant, her gingivitis has a high likelihood of becoming more serious.
What can you do to minimize risk? Periodontal treatment can be done during pregnancy.By the time symptoms of gum disease are noticed, the infection is established and bacteria is already circulating through the woman’s body. If you are planning to become pregnant, or are already pregnant, meet with your dentist to create a plan to maintain good oral health. Good gum health practices are important to keep before and during pregnancy as preventative measures.
For more information about gingivitis and ways to maintain healthy gums, visit this article on our blog: Gingivitis, The Silent Destroyer. Also, these three articles are must-reads for expecting moms: Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy, Pregnancy Gingivitis, Premature Births Remain a Medical Mystery
We highly recommend becoming familiar with both your dental benefits and needs. Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions and advise you on how best to minimize your chance of gum problems. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org!