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Gum Disease and Pregnancy

Gum Disease and Pregnancy

Finding out you are pregnant may be one of the most exciting times of your life. You probably have three phone calls to make once you celebrate the news with your partner – your mother, your best friend, and your OB/GYN. While these are certainly important calls to make, there is also another name that needs to be on your “must call” list: your dentist. Many women overlook the importance of oral health and how it relates to a healthy and sustainable pregnancy. Unfortunately, some women avoid going to the dentist during pregnancy because they have the misconception that routine treatment could harm their growing baby. What truly needs to be understood is that neglecting your oral health during pregnancy can pose dire risks to a mother’s health and to her unborn baby.

During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes extreme changes; more so than just her growing abdomen. Respiratory changes, a huge change in the amount of blood that the heart pumps through the entire body, preparation for milk production, and hormone fluctuations all occur alongside growing another human. With all of this taken into consideration, it’s no wonder why pregnancy is called the “miracle of life.”

Hormonal fluctuations are among the most significant changes that a woman will experience. Hormones are necessary for conception, sustaining pregnancy, and then preparing the body for delivery. The same hormones that are responsible for the development of the placenta also have a direct impact on the gum tissues within the mouth. “Pregnancy gingivitis” is an early stage of gum disease that presents the symptoms of red, tender, and irritated gums. These hormones can also decrease the immune response inside the mouth, posing a risk for infection. Because millions of bacteria exist inside the mouth on any given day, gums that are irritated can easily become infected from the huge quantity of bacteria.

The human body has a single blood supply that runs throughout the body numerous times a day. an infection that enters the gum tissues and passes into the blood stream can easily be transferred to the uterus and placenta. Gum disease has been directly linked to miscarriage, preterm labor, low birthweight babies, and stillbirth. Oral health concerns during pregnancy should never be ignored or overlooked. A small infection can have dire consequences.

At Brentwood Dental Group, we offer exceptional dentistry to expectant mothers. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. Your oral health is our priority.

Posted on behalf of Brentwood Dental Group