Can Gum Disease Cause Birth Defects?

Feb 13, 2018 | Gum Disease

Can Gum Disease Cause Birth Defects
The short answer: Gum disease is a common gum infection that can become very problematic, but you can prevent it! The long answer: All the tissues in your body have a self-defense mechanism called “inflammation.” When bacteria build up in your mouth, your gum tissue will inflame to try and kill it. Gum inflammation is called gingivitis and looks like red, soft, and sore gum tissue. Gum Disease Cause Birth Defects Over time, gingivitis can lead to more troublesome gum disease (called periodontitis) that can grow even deeper and start to harm the bones of your teeth and jaw. Severe gum disease can wreak havoc in your mouth. Pregnant women need to be especially careful because gum disease is linked with preterm births and babies with low birth weight. Every mom and mom-to-be wants the best start for their baby on their journey into parenthood. Read on from Dr. Kitts at Soundview Dental to learn more about gum disease and pregnancy.

Gum disease, pregnancy & birth defects

Here are the facts:
  • Up to 75% of pregnant women get gingivitis. About 50% of those women will see it worsen during pregnancy.
  • Hormonal changes and diabetes – conditions common to pregnancy – can increase the risk of gum disease.
  • Studies show higher maternal age and lower socioeconomic status are both risk factors for gum disease during pregnancy.
  • Though we don’t yet fully understand the reasons, gum disease is proven to increase your risk of preterm birth and having a baby with low birth weight.

Why is this important?

Babies born weighing less than 5.5 pounds have an increased risk of slower development (physically, socially, and emotionally) for the rest of their lives. Babies born too early can have those same complications as well as problems with their vision, breathing, hearing, and digestion. Talk with your doctor to learn more about preterm birth and low birth weight.

How you can prevent gum disease

There’s no hall pass for brushing your teeth while pregnant. Preventative oral health care (brushing, flossing, professional dental cleanings) is both safe and necessary, especially for pregnant women. Not to mention your pregnancy cravings may have you enjoying an extra sweet treat or two these days – ice cream for breakfast, anyone? Stay ahead of the game and prevent gum disease by eating tooth-friendly foods and keeping your mouth clean. If gingivitis crops up, don’t hesitate to get a professional cleaning at the dentist. You can also ask for prescription-strength mouthwash if you need extra help. Talk with both your primary doctor and your dentist about your overall health, including the state of your gums. If you’re looking for an Edmonds dentist, we’d love to care for you during this special time. Contact us today to make an appointment!
Sources http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/oral-care-during-pregnancy http://journals.lww.com/mcnjournal/Abstract/2008/01000/Maternal_Periodontal_Disease,_Pregnancy,_and.12.aspx http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0528.2006.00363.x/abstract https://www.perio.org/consumer/AAP_EFP_Pregnancy http://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/0415/p1139.html
Eric Kitts, DDS

Eric Kitts, DDS

Owner @ Soundview Family Dental

Born in Seattle and raised in Puyallup, Dr. Eric Kitts received his undergraduate degree from Washington State University and his DDS from the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Dr. Kitts began practicing dentistry in 2000, at his office in Richmond Beach. In 2011, Dr. Kitts built a brand-new, state-of-the-art dental facility located in the heart of downtown Edmonds.

Book with us today!

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your teeth and refuse to show the world your beautiful smile? Has discomfort at the dentist kept you from receiving dental work that will give you a reason to smile again?

At Soundview Family Dental in Edmonds, WA, we understand that not everyone likes the dentist. Our team of caring professionals works with you to ensure that you feel comfortable from the moment you walk through the door. Specializing in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, Dr. Kitts and his team work hard to preserve your natural teeth and give you back a smile you can be proud of.

Contact today to schedule an appointment and let our team deliver a beautiful, natural-looking smile you can be proud to show off.

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