Gum Disease During Pregnancy

Published: 08th February 2010
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A woman is more prone to gum disease or periodontal disease while she is pregnant. If the dental disease becomes severe, it can affect her unborn child, resulting in low birth weight and even premature birth. Dr. Bart Kreiner runs his own dental office, Dr. Kreiner Family Dentistry, in Bel Air, Maryland. He talks here about gum disease during pregnancy.

Dental health during pregnancy is important. Everyone has heard the old adage that every pregnancy will cause at least one lost tooth. That is an old wives' tale, but nonetheless some basis is behind it.

Pregnancy Gingivitis
A woman can increase her chance of getting gum disease while she is pregnant. It has been documented and proved that gum disease can result in low birth rate. It can also bring on a premature birth, which can worsen the gum disease that a woman gets during her pregnancy.

A certain amount of dental plaque will be tolerated when a woman is not in pregnancy, and will not be disease-causing. But when a woman is pregnant, her hormone changes, which can increase the severity of periodontal disease. The same amount of plaque will create inflammation in the gum tissue around the teeth, which is called pregnancy gingivitis.

The Safest Time for Dental Work during Pregnancy
The other thing about pregnancy is that any dental elective work should be done during the second trimester in pregnancy. It is almost always safe in my opinion, but it should be avoided because if the baby is born with a birth defect, an attorney could blame it on the dental work.

It is the safest to perform general dentistry during the second trimester. But emergency and urgent dental care should still be provided and not be avoided during the first and third trimesters. So if you break your tooth, you should go to a dentist to have it fixed instead of waiting until you are not pregnant.

It goes without saying that women who are pregnant should continue having dental checkups during their pregnancies, and should focus on getting their diet as healthy as they can, with plenty of calcium. This is not only to keep them healthy, but also to keep their unborn child healthy, and to help make his or her teeth well since the teeth already formed in the womb.

The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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