Periodontal disease affects roughly 80% of adults in the United States. Scheduling an appointment with your dentist may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re expecting but, it is necessary in order to protect the health and safety of both you and your baby.

Pregnancy increases estrogen and progesterone which can exaggerate the way in which gum tissues react to plaque. ‘Pregnancy gingivitis’, or red, swollen, tender gums, affects most pregnant woman to some degree. If left untreated this can lead to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. A visit to the dentist is essential to ensure that you avoid any complications with your pregnancy due to periodontal disease.

What complications can periodontal disease cause?

Periodontal disease increases the likelihood of having a preterm birth, which is one of the leading causes of infant mortality. In fact, findings show that gum disease is a more common cause for preterm and low birth weight babies than alcohol consumption or smoking. Gum disease increases the bacterial levels in your mouth. This can result in bacteria entering your bloodstream through your gums, which then can enter the uterus and affect your baby.

During pregnancy, there is a chance that one may develop benign oral tumors. These growths occur when gums become irritated due to the combination of hormonal changes and excess plaque. Taking preventative measures such as visiting your dentist during pregnancy can lower your risk of developing oral tumors, which can cause discomfort in expecting mothers and affect brushing, drinking, eating and overall nutrition. While they usually do go away on their own, your dentist can remove them if the discomfort becomes difficult to tolerate or they are interfering with your ability to provide your baby with proper nutrients.

Take Care of Your Baby by Taking Care of Your Gums

Gum disease exposes your baby to unnecessary dangers, causes increased discomfort to expecting mothers, can lead to infections and may also negatively affect your nutritional intake. Schedule an appointment with your dentist early in your pregnancy to lower the risk of exposing your child to bacteria or unnecessary medications.

How Excellence in Dentistry Can Help

Excellence in Dentistry wants to ensure that you match that expecting mother glow with a healthy, gleaming smile. Visit us early on in your pregnancy so that we can check on your oral health and do everything we can to ensure the comfort and health of you and your child. During your visit, we can discuss and create a plan specifically suited for your needs and are happy to answer any questions you may have.