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REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HAVING A PRE-TERM BABY
So you’re trying to get pregnant or already are pregnant. Congratulations! You’re setting off on one of life’s greatest adventures. There are a lot of changes happening in your body once you become pregnant and it’s pretty overwhelming. Along with nutrition, hormones, exhaustion, prenatal vitamins and doctor appointments there’s another thing that’s very important to stay on top of…your teeth and gums! It’s important to know the connection between pregnancy and your gums.
ARE BLEEDING GUMS NORMAL DURING PREGNANCY?
Most women don’t realize that it’s pretty common to have sensitive or bleeding gums during the second or third trimester of their pregnancy. In fact, 40% of women will get gingivitis during their pregnancy. The levels of the hormone progesterone rise in the bloodstream which leads to inflammation of your gums (also called gingivitis). This can make your gums swollen and tender and can lead to bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth.
IS GINGIVITIS DANGEROUS TO ME OR MY BABY?
Usually gingivitis is fairly harmless, but if not treated it could lead to tooth decay and even periodontitis. Periodontitis (or gum disease) weakens the bones that keep your teeth attached to your jaw and can cause tooth loss. If that’s not scary enough, the infection from gum disease also increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and even pre-term labor.
The bacteria from the infection travel through your blood and produce prostaglandin, a natural hormone-like chemical. This chemical naturally occurs in your body in increasing amounts as your pregnancy advances and peaks when you go into labor. If you’re producing even more prostaglandin from infection, it can signal your body to go into labor early and your baby can be born too soon and too small. The American Dental Association found that pregnant women with gum disease were four to seven times more likely to deliver prematurely and under-weight babies than those who didn’t have it. A serious infection early in the pregnancy can even cause a miscarriage and if it’s later in the pregnancy can cause pre-term labor. A severe enough infection can even cause the death of a fetus or a still birth. That happens when the infection and bacteria travel through the bloodstream and to the fetus.
HOW TO AVOID GUM DISEASE DURING PREGNANCY
Keeping on top of your dental maintenance is key, even before you become pregnant.
You should get periodic dental checkups during pregnancy to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Continue good oral hygiene by brushing after each meal, floss twice a day and rinse your mouth thoroughly before bed.
Check with your doctor about recommending a mouth wash that’s safe for use during pregnancy.
Be sure to clean between the teeth, since food particles often get stuck there.
If you’re diabetic, you’re more prone to gum diseases, so keep your sugar levels under control.
Smoking worsens the problem and should be completely avoided during pregnancy (and after for your baby’s best health)
A strong, healthy baby is the greatest joy and taking care of yourself and your gums during pregnancy is the best way to give your baby a head start to a long, happy life.
Your health matters to us. If you have any questions concerning this post, call us at
(248) 357-3100 today. We’re always happy to hear from our awesome patients!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding pregnancy or gum disease.
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