Pregnancy gives a mother-to-be lots to think about and plan for. In the middle of everything, the relationship between gum disease and pregnancy is something most don’t give much thought to. However, there is a clear risk – and it’s important to know about it early.
Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy: What Women Should Know
It may seem strange that periodontitis and pregnancy often happen at the same time, but there is a biological basis. About half of all pregnant women experience swollen, tender gums during pregnancy, because hormonal changes make the gum tissue more sensitive to bacteria.This is known as pregnancy gingivitis.
Gingivitis refers to relatively mild bacterial infection and inflammation in the gums. Most people encounter gingivitis at some point in their lives, and it does not always require a dentist’s help. However, it can develop into severe periodontal disease, also called gum disease.
Gum disease treatment is often aggressive, because the disease can destroy gum tissue and even the underlying bone when if it is not treated promptly. When gum tissue erodes as a result of this condition, a gum grafts procedure is usually necessary.
The biggest risk for pregnant women? Combined with pregnancy gingivitis symptoms, they might find gum disease sets in without their notice. It could take weeks or even months to realize something is wrong.
Another issue women should be alerted to is pregnancy tumors on the gums. These small nodules are benign and tend to disappear on their own during or shortly after pregnancy. They can occur throughout the body, but they are common in the mouth.
Making Dental Health Easier During Pregnancy
If ordinary brushing is too uncomfortable, do what you can to adjust your dental health routine. It is a good idea to start by getting a new toothbrush. It will almost always be softer and easier to work with.
You can try a soft interdental pick for removing food particles from between teeth without using floss, which can encourage bleeding.
Some forms of mouthwash can help slow down bacterial activity on the teeth. Since your own saliva also helps resist plaque build-up, it may be a good idea to chew sugarless gum: This can encourage saliva production naturally.
Seeing a dentist regularly throughout pregnancy is the best way to protect your teeth and gums. For expert gum grafts and other periodontal treatment right in Lake Jackson, Texas, the All Smiles Dentistry team will be happy to help. To find out more, contact us today.