During pregnancy, there’s a whole host of changes that occur within a woman’s body. Hormone’s shift and the body’s immune system goes through little quirks. Did you also know that during pregnancy a woman’s periodontal health can change, even if they keep to the strict routine of brushing twice daily and flossing once.
It’s true! there are links between periodontal disease and pregnancy (For those of you not immediately familiar, periodontal disease is a chronic condition caused by bacteria—the most severe condition of gum disease—and, if left untreated, can cause tooth loss, damage to the tissue in the mouth, and it’s even been linked to systemic diseases such as heart disease). Many woman experience what is called pregnancy gingivitis somewhere between the second and eighth months. Remember that any progression of gum disease is bad and needs to be treated.
Gum disease is progressive, and to not treat the disease could mean a progression to full-blown periodontal disease. Studies show that periodontal disease can cause premature birth, or cause an infant to be born at a dangerously low birth weight. A baby born underweight is susceptible to other bodily conditions, such as respiratory problems, and growth issues—both social and physical.
Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy
This makes it imperative during pregnancy to keep to a strict routine of oral health—remember, brush twice and floss at least once, and it may also be beneficial to use certain mouthwashes during pregnancy to ensure a clean mouth. And this oral care routine includes dental checkups with your periodontist to ensure that your mouth is staying healthy. Oftentimes gum disease can begin without a patient knowing. If a person has already been diagnosed with having periodontal disease, and is currently pregnant, that patient will need to keep up regular appointments and treatments.
Make an appointment with Dr. Manhart today, if you are pregnant, and would like a comprehensive periodontal exam. Remember it’s much easier to treat gum disease in its early stages. And remember to keep up a quality oral care routine, whether you are pregnant or not.