Gingivitis is a form of gum inflammation that eventually leads to periodontitis that affects bones and gums. Aside from the dental ramifications, periodontitis has also been linked to birth complications. What exactly is the correlation between gum disease, pregnancy and birth defects?
Gum Disease, Pregnancy and Birth Defects: The Facts
Roughly three-quarters of women develop gingivitis at some point during pregnancy. This is in large part due to hormonal changes. Additional factors like a higher maternal age and lower socioeconomical status increase your risk of gum disease during pregnancy.
Researchers have linked gum disease to birth complications, such as pre-term birth and low birth weight. This has been confirmed in a study published in the US National Library of Medicine.
Babies born below 5.5-pounds are at an increased risk of slow development later in life. This includes slower physical growth, slower cognitive ability, and delayed emotional maturity.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Preventing gum disease is important no matter who you are. However, it’s even more important for pregnant women since the disease is affecting an additional person inside them.
As always, maintain daily hygiene habits at home. This means the usual rounds of brushing and flossing. You should also watch what you consume; limit intake of refined sugars and simple carbohydrates.
Also, be sure to see your family dentist two to four times a year. If you have serious dental conditions, have an endodontist treat them ASAP. Solutions may include a deep cleaning or a prescription-strength mouthwash.
We Prevent and Treat Gum Disease
Please make an appointment with Mukilteo Dental Arts if you are pregnant. Our general dentistry and oral surgery care cater to expectant mothers. Pregnant women need to be especially mindful of oral health due to the connection between gum disease and birth complications.
General Family Dentistry
General family dentistry for Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood, Edmonds & Mill Creek