On June 11th, 2018 was World Gum Day. Several European countries, including Poland, Finland, and Russia, targeted pregnant women at yoga classes and on the street to hand out leaflets about gum disease. The truth is, gum disease, or periodontal issues, apply to everyone in the population. However, pregnancy is an especially important time to focus on one’s periodontal care.
Challenges to Periodontal Health During Pregnancy
First of all, maintaining one’s normal oral hygiene regimen can become quite challenging during the time of pregnancy. The gums become much more sensitive and easy to bleed during brushing and flossing. This can make women very hesitant to brush and floss daily. Pregnancy hormones make one’s gums red and inflamed, so using a soft-bristled brush and even pressure while brushing should be enough to strip away plaque and discourage gingivitis, while not encouraging gum bleeding in tender, swollen gums. When flossing, try to target the areas between the teeth without too much friction at the gumline.
Periodontal Disease Can Affect the Unborn Child
As dental science advances and finds links between periodontal care and cardiac health, gut health and more–there is also new research showing that periodontal disease may be linked to negative effects on the prenatal health of the baby.
When gingivitis turns into periodontal disease and a mother gets an infected tooth, because of the nutritional stress pregnancy presents to the body–losing a tooth is all too common. Then, the harmful oral bacteria getting into the mother’s bloodstream can have several deleterious effects in pregnancy.
- Premature birth is a complication associated with periodontal disease. Babies born too early tend to suffer from delayed development as well as respiratory issues, as their lungs did not have a chance to develop during the last critical weeks of gestation.
- Low birth weight is also associated with advanced periodontal disease in the mother. Low birth weight brings the risks of delayed development and infection for a fragile new baby.
All in all, pregnancy makes it difficult to care for teeth in the normal manner, but it is imperative to support pregnant mothers in continuing their oral health routine during this time. The toll pregnancy takes can present danger to their teeth. Periodontal health, as research continues to show, can seriously affect the health of the new baby. For dental care during your pregnancy, call Dr. Brusky’s office at (920) 662-1440 in Green Bay, WI. We can help you schedule a gentle cleaning and periodontal assessment.