Gum disease, pregnancy & birth defectsHere 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 diseaseThere’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