Chances are good that during your pregnancy, you will experience a handful of new changes. Bleeding gums could be one of them. Pregnancy gingivitis is a common condition however because it is common doesn’t mean it should be acceptable.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease are an infection in your gums and can lead to further infection in the bone support around your teeth. Periodontal disease, in particular, is a chronic, inflammatory condition and if left untreated can ultimately cause tooth loss. 50% of the adult population has some form of periodontitis so the chances are quite good you may already have this condition going into pregnancy.
Why It Happens
Being pregnant, your gums are vulnerable to inflammation due to the hormonal changes. More swelling can then actually trap more plaque. Also, if you are experiencing morning sickness, this may hinder a more thorough brushing and flossing regimen.
Periodontal infection during pregnancy can increase by 7 times the risk of premature birth, low birth weight or preeclampsia! According to the CDC, babies with a birth weight of fewer than 5.5 pounds may be at risk of long-term health issues such as delayed motor skills or learning disabilities. Similar complications are true for babies born prematurely. As stated on www.perio.org other issues that can arise from pre-term birth included respiratory problems, vision/hearing loss, or digestive issues.
What Can You Do?
There are several actions you can take to avoid not only gum problems but the complications that can arise during pregnancy. To review:
- The most effective, reassuring step you can take is to see a periodontist–before you become pregnant! A periodontist has specialty training in the health of the oral foundation and can provide the most accurate diagnosis and treatment. Treating gum infection before pregnancy can alleviate the fear and concern of the health risks stated above for you and your baby.
- If you are already pregnant, it is still not too late! Often, treatment can be provided in a safe manner in conjunction with your OBGYN.
- More regular dental cleanings can go a long way of maintaining optimal health during pregnancy.
- Good oral care such as gumline brushing and flossing is a must!
Still have concerns? The Gum Doc is here to answer any questions or concerns you have during this special time in your life. Please visit www.mygumdoc.com to arrange a visit to our office.