Pregnancy is a life-changing time for anyone, but it also comes with some well-known risks and health concerns. Dental health can be greatly impacted by the changes associated with pregnancy, and in turn, the health of your pregnancy can also be seriously affected by your oral health.
Keep reading to learn more about the link between pregnancy and periodontal disease.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis or gum disease, is a bacterial infection that develops due to excess plaque and tartar build-up. This condition causes damage to the gums and teeth, leading to severe inflammation, cavities, and bone loss.
While common, it can also cause extreme discomfort and pain, which is why it’s essential to seek treatment as soon as possible to reverse existing damage and prevent it from getting worse.
Some common symptoms include:
- Red or inflamed gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
How is pregnancy related to gum disease?
It’s estimated that as many as 60-75% of pregnant women suffer from gingivitis (early-stage periodontal disease).
There are several reasons why pregnant women are more likely to develop this condition, often related to the hormonal and dietary changes that come with pregnancy. That’s why it’s so important for pregnant women to properly care for their teeth and visit their dentist regularly throughout their pregnancy.
How can gum disease affect pregnancy outcomes?
The relationship between pregnancy and gum disease goes both ways. Not only can pregnancy increase your risk of developing gingivitis, but the development of the infection can also contribute to negative health outcomes for mothers and their children.
Pregnant women with periodontal disease are more likely to give birth prematurely and have babies with low birth weight. Additionally, children whose mothers have multiple cavities are at a much greater risk of developing cavities themselves in their childhood years.
Bacteria can spread through the body via the bloodstream, impacting your overall health by accumulating in important arteries and mammary glands. This can ultimately affect the baby in utero, as well as through breastfeeding after they’re born.
How can pregnant women prevent periodontitis?
Luckily, periodontal disease is usually preventable. Even if you’re at higher risk due to pregnancy, you can significantly reduce your chance of developing this condition with the right preventative measures. Because gum disease is caused by plaque buildup, taking steps to remove existing plaque and prevent it from accumulating near the gum line will help reduce the risk of developing periodontitis. You can do this by:
- Practicing good oral hygiene at home — brushing and flossing daily
- Visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and exams
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
What gum disease treatments are recommended for pregnant women?
At Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles, we use state-of-the-art technology to provide our gum disease patients with treatments that are effective, straightforward, and minimally invasive.
Our Fotona LightWalker Laser Gum Treatment offers a high-tech approach that uses concentrated light waves to treat your mouth’s damaged tissue while promoting healthy gum growth. This cutting-edge technology is proven to be more precise and comfortable than surgical methods.
You can also opt for our LANAP Laser Gum Disease Treatment, in which one of our periodontists will use a laser to remove damaged gum tissue and thoroughly clean the surrounding areas. Ultrasonic tools are also utilized to meticulously remove bacteria from the roots of your teeth, promoting the healing process and preventing future complications.
Our high-tech gum disease treatments are ideal for any patient — including pregnant women! We also offer several sedation options for patients with dental anxiety, so you can get the high-quality care you deserve and be comfortable during your visit.
Are you concerned about having periodontal disease while pregnant? We’re here to help!
If you’re pregnant, we understand that health checkups and medical concerns can be overwhelming. That’s why we work tirelessly to prioritize the needs and concerns of our patients while providing first-rate dental care.
At Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles, we believe that everyone deserves quality care in a warm, friendly environment. If you think you may be suffering from periodontal disease, our experienced and highly-skilled team is here to find a treatment that works for you.
Contact us online or call us at (786) 629-1503 to schedule your appointment!