Pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing gum disease.
Pregnancy is an amazing journey, but there is no doubt that the body undergoes many changes during this time. In fact, the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can have an impact on the entire body and may even affect one’s oral health. There is a connection between pregnancy and gum disease, which is why it is so important to take extra care of your teeth and gums when you are expecting a baby. Read on to find out what you can do to maintain a healthy mouth throughout your pregnancy journey…
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a serious health condition that affects both the gums and the underlying bone that supports the teeth. In its early stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis — this occurs when the gums become irritated and inflamed, usually as the result of poor oral hygiene. Some of the common symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding, tender, and swollen gums.
If left untreated, gingivitis can advance into a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis. In this case, the gums and bones suffer serious damage, which can lead to receding gums, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
How are gum disease and pregnancy linked?
The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can increase one’s risk of plaque build-up and gum disease. If you are pregnant, you may notice issues like bleeding gums, as well as the formation of pockets between your teeth and gums.
If you suspect you are suffering from pregnancy gingivitis — perhaps your gums feel tender or bleed easily — it is important that you consult with your dentist as soon as possible.
How does gum disease affect pregnancy?
Research suggests that gum disease can have some negative effects on pregnancy outcomes. Some possible complications associated with gum disease during pregnancy include preterm labour, low birth weight, and restriction of the baby’s growth.
Besides the impact on the health of the baby, gum disease can also do some irreversible damage to one’s oral health and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Can gum disease be treated during pregnancy?
If you are pregnant and are concerned about the condition of your gums, it is advisable that you see your dentist. Generally, non-surgical dental treatments are considered safe for pregnant women and your dentist will let you know what can be done to improve your overall oral health. In many cases, a professional teeth cleaning can help reverse the early signs of gingivitis and keep the gums in good condition.
It is also very important that you commit to healthy oral hygiene habits throughout your pregnancy journey. Try to stick to regular brushing and flossing every day as this will help to get rid of plaque and bacteria and keep issues like gum disease at bay. Although symptoms like morning sickness might make it difficult, try to maintain a balanced diet and limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks as much as possible.
If you need some advice on maintaining your oral health or improving your hygiene habits, don’t be afraid to chat to your dentist. They will be able to provide you with all the information you need to keep your smile (and baby) healthy.
How can we help?
At Crown Dental Group, we love to help and support our patients in maintaining a healthy smile in every stage of life. If you have an oral health concern or would simply like to get back on track by having a check-up and clean, we encourage you to come in and see us. Our team is happy to help with any advice or information you need and will guide you through your treatment of choice.
To find out about the full range of dentistry services we offer, please have a look here.
To arrange a consultation at Crown Dental, please get in touch here.