Pregnancy is amazing isn’t it? There is no other life event which can drastically change your life. Any mum to-be can tell you it is exciting and scary at the same time. Your decisions become selfless as you start to consider the life forming inside your womb. Pregnancy complications, difficulty conceiving and premature babies rank highly on every mum to-be’s list of fears. What if I told you that looking after your gums could lead to a smooth pregnancy and a healthier baby? Premature birth is often associated with poor nutrition, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, having infections and certain diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Did you know that having gum disease can also increase the risk of having premature babies? At Riverstone Family Dental all my patients are handled with the utmost of care. I make sure that with my pregnant patients, I go the extra mile and not only treat them but also take the time to provide oral health education. I have taken some time to share this information with you through this blog. If you require any more information, please contact my clinic on 8678 3538.
Changes in your hormone levels create dental problems during pregnancy. The inflammatory responses during pregnancy increase the risk of having dental issues such as sensitivity, bleeding and swelling of gums, and increased risk of tooth decay. One of the most common dental health concerns for pregnant women is gingivitis, which, in some cases may lead to periodontal disease—especially when not promptly treated.
- Gingivitis – swelling and inflammation of your gums caused by the build-up of bacteria in plaque. This is manifested as bleeding gums when brushing and flossing.
- Periodontal disease – the disease progression when gingivitis is left untreated. The inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth. This creates spaces which collect food and bacteria, leading to infection. Your immune system tries to fight this infection but is not very effective and results in the break down of the bone and gum around the teeth. As it gets worse, your teeth may loosen and this can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Effects on pregnancy
During pregnancy, your lifestyle directly affects your baby. There have been numerous studies such as a study published in the Journal of Periodontology which emphasise how periodontal diseases can increase the chances of delivering a premature baby. In some cases, untreated gum infections may lead to a sevenfold increased risk of delivering a premature baby. Other studies have looked at women who had delivered low birth weight babies and what they had in common. They found that women who suffered from periodontal disease were more likely to have delivered premature babies than those with healthy gums. Having periodontal disease means that each time you eat or brush your teeth, you could potentially be releasing that bacteria from your gums and into your bloodstream. Remember, it is from your bloodstream from which your unborn baby receives nutrients.
Treatment during pregnancy
Many doctors and gynaecologists highlight the safety and importance of dental cleans for an expectant or pregnant mum. If you are already pregnant, elective dental treatment is recommended to be carried out in the second trimester. We can provide you with safe treatment including plaque control, removal of hard build-up, stain removal and control of active oral diseases. Prevention is always best so if you are planning on getting pregnant, ensure your dental health is up to date.
Dental health and hygiene is a must when deciding on getting pregnant. By looking after your oral health, you can avoid unnecessary stress, infections and antibiotics usage. Everyone, whether pregnant or not, should appreciate the importance of dental care and oral hygiene. Why? Because dental health reflects the overall health of a person—and the baby when expecting. Through proper diet, brushing, flossing and regular dental check ups, you can ensure severe gum disease is treated early on and other potential complications such as toothaches are prevented.
I hope this blog has been beneficial for you during this exciting time! I am passionate about discussing oral health and recent updates in the field of dentistry. If you would like to get your gums checked please give me a call at Riverstone Family Dental: 8678 3538.