Dental Tips Blog

Mar
8

Periodontal Disease During Pregnancy

Posted in Gum Disease

There’s nothing quite so noticeable as the glow that pregnancy brings, unless it’s the unwanted glow of red, swollen gum tissue caused by hormonal changes. While you’re eagerly looking forward to welcoming your little one, be sure to pay special attention to the health of your teeth!

Progesterone and Periodontal Disease

During pregnancy, hormones fluctuate and progesterone levels elevate. Progesterone stimulates your body’s production of prostaglandins, which affect inflammation of the blood vessels and gums. The increase in hormone levels open up the blood vessels making an easy target for plaque and toxins to flourish. As a result, up to 30% of pregnant women experience some form of periodontal (gum) disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?

In its earliest stages, periodontal disease is known as gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that support your teeth. It evolves into an infection of the gums that grows to affect the supporting tissues and bone.

Pregnancy Complications Caused By Gum Disease

If periodontal disease is left untreated, it can potentially cause more serious problems down the road for mother and baby.

  • Preterm Delivery- Periodontal disease has been linked to preterm births (earlier than 37 weeks). It is thought that the inflammation may trigger a chemical response that results in preterm labor.
  • Low birth weight-  Periodontal disease is a risk factor, associated with up to 18% of low birth weight cases.
  • Pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure) –  A correlation has been noted between periodontal disease and pre-eclampsia, possibly caused by stress to the blood vessels for mother and child.

See Your Dentist!

Regularly checkups with your dentist are important for every person, but especially for expectant mothers. Your dentist can perform an oral health exam to ensure that no gum disease is present and treat it, if there is.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955 

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