How Do Gum Diseases Affect Your Pregnancy?

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If you are pregnant or have plans to become pregnant, you’ll want to ensure good dental health to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy can cause certain dental health issues because of hormonal changes. For example, it can affect the way gum tissue reacts to plaque, making the mother-to-be more prone to gum disease. Let’s take a look at some of the effects this can have on pregnancy:

Infertility

Gum diseases can affect your fertility rate by reducing the chances of getting pregnant or delaying conception by up to two months. If you have any pre-existing dental issues that may increase the risk of such occurrences, you should get them checked out at as soon as possible. Additionally, you should abstain from habits that may affect the quality and state of your dental health. This means stop smoking altogether, avoid alcoholic, and sugar-laden drinks, as well as maintain a healthy weight, and take supplements to increase your folic acid intake.

Preterm births

There are approximately 15 million babies that are born prematurely each year in the United States. It ranks the country 6th out of the top ten countries that have the highest preterm birth rates. In other words, one out of every half a million babies is born prematurely in America. Mothers with serious dental health issues, such as periodontal disease, are seven times more likely to go into premature labor. As gingivitis is a non-destructive form of periodontal disease, you should consult a dentist for viable treatment before it progresses to its destructive form. When it becomes periodontitis, the inflammation will spread to the tissues that support and surround the teeth.

Low birth weight

It’s widely known that certain risk factors, such as drug abuse, smoking, and alcohol, increase the chances of low-birth-weight babies. Recent studies suggest that periodontal diseases may cause 18% of low birth weight. Periodontal diseases can stimulate the body of the mother to release chemicals that handle inducing labor.

Uterus infection

Studies have shown that oral bacteria can handle up to 30% of uterus infections. Evidences such as blood samples and oral swabs are used to demonstrate that oral bacteria can find their way down to the uterus of the pregnant mother and cause uterus infections that can lead to premature births. You should not take this matter lightly as oral bacteria in the uterus can kill the baby and result in a miscarriage.

Your oral care regimen

• Professional cleaning every three months.

• Avoid all fluoride mouth rinses, such as ACT® Rinse and LISTERINE® Total Care.

• Avoid teeth whitening products, including toothpaste and mouth rinses with a whitening agent. Although, currently, there are no studies that prove whitening your teeth will pose significant harm to your baby, we recommend you receive whitening after post-partum.

If you have any questions or want to learn more oral health tips while pregnant, please do not hesitate to contact us.