Does Gum Health Affect Pregnancy?

Pregnant individuals must often juggle many types of preventive healthcare. But research published in Oral Health & Preventative Dentistry suggests taking care of your gums during pregnancy can be especially important. The study finds that pregnant patients treated for gingivitis can see a reduction in pre-term births and an increase in birth weights.

Gingivitis refers to the early stage of gum disease, an infection affecting the gum tissue. This infection affects about half of adult dental patients, but despite its prevalence, many people do not realize that it can impact your overall well-being.

Gum inflammation caused by excess bacteria from gingivitis can trigger a systemic response in the body. This may then lead to complications with other existing health conditions, including pregnancy.

If you know more about gum disease, you can better prevent it and lower your risk of these health concerns. Read on to learn details about gingivitis, including symptoms, treatments, and prevention advice.

Does Gum Health Affect Pregnancy

Signs of Gingivitis

Gingivitis can come with some noticeable symptoms. Bacterial infection in the gums is synonymous with irritation and inflammation in the gum tissue. Patients may experience swelling, redness, soreness, tenderness, and bleeding in the gums if they contract gum disease.

Sometimes, the gums can become irritated for an acute reason, like brushing your teeth too hard. But if these symptoms persist, then you should reach out to your dentist for a periodontal disease screening.

When gum disease progresses, you can see other symptoms. Bad breath, gum recession, and loose or shifting teeth could all point to advanced gum disease.  

In some cases, patients will not experience any symptoms when they develop gingivitis. For this reason, you should continue to attend routine dental check-ups so that a dentist can check for signs of this infection and intervene when needed.

Treatment Options for Gum Disease

If your dentist diagnoses you with gingivitis, they can begin treating the problem with a thorough cleaning technique known as scaling and root planing. They use a scaler tool to clear away excess bacteria that collects deep in the gum pockets. Then with root planing, they gently press the gum tissue against the tooth to encourage the healing process.

The dentist may also recommend that you use an antibacterial mouthwash to keep your oral bacteria balanced. This can relieve uncomfortable periodontal symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading.

Gum disease does not go away on its own. So you will need to make sure you seek dental attention to treat this infection before it worsens.

Tips for Gum Disease Prevention

Gum disease develops when natural oral bacteria travel to the gum and infect the tissue there. This can make anyone susceptible to the disease, but pregnant patients can experience hormonal changes that may put them at greater risk of the infection.

To prevent gum disease, you will need to practice good oral hygiene. This involves brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing each day, and attending regular dental cleanings. For more preventive periodontal advice, give your dentist a call.