Gum Disease and Pregnancy
Throughout the course of your pregnancy, your body undergoes numerous changes as it grows a new little life. Taking care of yourself during this time is essential, not just for you, but for your new baby as well. You do your best to take care of your body by eating right and getting enough rest. In addition to taking care of your body during pregnancy, it is also imperative that you take good care of your mouth. This includes brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits. Raptou Family Dental can help.
Gum disease is a serious oral health condition that occurs as a result of a bacterial infection in your mouth. Bacteria cause your gums to become irritated, which triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system. This causes the gums to swell. Without treatment, swollen tissue begins to pull away from the surfaces of your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria collect in these pockets, continuing to irritate your gums from the inside.
The pockets grow deeper, and bacteria travel further down. Eventually, they reach the periodontal ligaments and jawbone. They begin attacking these supporting structures, compromising the stability of your teeth. Bacteria can also enter into your bloodstream and begin traveling throughout your body. This can cause serious health-related issues, including pregnancy complications.
How Pregnancy Increases Your Gum Disease Risk
Anyone is at risk for developing gum disease. If you are pregnant, however, your risk increases greatly. When you are pregnant, your body goes through many hormonal changes. Changes in your hormones greatly affect how your gums react to plaque and oral bacteria. This reaction leaves your gums more susceptible to irritation, inflammation, and bleeding.
Another issue common with pregnant women is retching when brushing. If this happens, you may find it unpleasant to brush your teeth. As a result, you may avoid the habit. While it may be unpleasant, brushing is incredibly important. Avoiding brushing, or not brushing properly, can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria, which then increase your risk of developing gum disease.
Effects of Untreated Gum Disease During Pregnancy
There are several issues that can develop as a result of gum disease while pregnant. These issues include:
||An increased risk for developing pre-eclampsia.
||Preterm birth, or giving birth before 37 weeks.
||Low birth weight. If your infant is born underweight, they are at a greater risk for complications such as trouble staying warm, issues with breathing, infections, and issues with the nervous system.
Preventing Gum Disease
Taking care of your body is essential for ensuring both your health as well as the health of your developing baby. This includes taking good care of your mouth to prevent the development of gum disease. It is important that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss your teeth at least once a day. It is also important that you keep your regular appointments for cleanings and exams.
You should let us know that you are pregnant so that we can tailor your dental care accordingly. Additionally, if you notice that your gums are red and swollen, or that they are bleeding when you brush and floss, you should contact the office right away.
During your pregnancy, it is important that you take good care of your whole self. This includes your mouth. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Raptou Family Dental today at (614) 427-0449.