Gum Disease and Pregnancy

Jacksonville FL General DentistWhen a woman discovers that she is pregnant, excitement and anticipation set in almost immediately. Whether a planned pregnancy or a surprise, whether a first pregnancy or a fourth, every pregnancy brings with it huge changes to unfold. While many people tend to concentrate on the growing abdomen and weight gain, as they are obvious signs of pregnancy, there are other huge changes affecting an expectant woman that have significant impacts on her upcoming months. The blood supply doubles during pregnancy, the respiratory system rises to accommodate the mother and her baby’s oxygen demands, the breasts change to prepare for the production of milk, and hormones begin to fluctuate in huge amounts. Of all of these changes, it is the fluctuation of hormones that has the most significant effect on a woman’s entire body. The same hormones that are responsible for the development of the placenta are the hormones that affect the gum tissues within the mouth. Understanding the correlation between hormones and gum disease are vital during pregnancy.

Inside the human mouth live millions of bacteria. These bacteria are naturally present to help break down particles left behind inside the mouth after eating. While these bacteria mean to be helpful, bacteria are notorious for being related to infections.

As hormones fluctuate in drastic levels throughout pregnancy, the gum tissues are vulnerable to developing “pregnancy gingivitis.” Red, swollen, tender gums that bleed easily and are easily irritated are diagnosed with gingivitis. While easily treatable, it is when this condition is left ignored or untreated that dire consequences can occur. Research has proven a direct link between gum disease and:

• Miscarriage
• Preterm labor
• Low birthweight babies
• Stillbirth

The body is a complex, interworking machine with a single blood supply. An infection that forms in the mouth can easily enter into irritated gums and be passed through the blood stream to the uterus. Understanding this significant connection can help expectant mothers to take their oral health seriously – for both themselves and their growing baby.

Atlantic Dentistry provides safe and effective dentistry services. Call us today.

Posted on behalf of Atlantic Dentistry