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Gum Disease and Pregnancy

Woman holding pregnant stomachPregnant women undergo hormonal changes that may have implications for their oral health. Research shows that pregnant women have a higher risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Enamel erosion and tooth loss are also common in the second trimester. However, you can prevent oral health problems by sticking to a healthy diet and maintaining your daily oral hygiene.

Our specialist dental team at Chicago Dental Esthetics, recommends regular checkups. Early detection of the onset of gum disease can prevent complications during pregnancy. Our dentist will also offer practical options to restore your dental health. A dental cleaning can eliminate tartar build up which may increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental Cavities and Pregnancy

The CDC says that between 60 and 70 percent of pregnant women have gingivitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums often characterized by redness and swelling. It starts with plaque, a sticky film of food debris and bacteria on the teeth. Plaque can develop into tartar, a stubborn calcified deposit, that requires professional dental skills to clean.

Pregnancy often causes changes in progesterone and estrogen levels, increasing the risk of gingivitis. The exact mechanism of how gingivitis develops during pregnancy is still unclear. But researchers believe hormonal changes diminish the body’s capacity to fight the bacteria that cause gum diseases.

Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease

Early treatment of gum disease can stop gingivitis and prevent periodontal disease during pregnancy. The microbial changes in the oral cavity increase the risk of gingivitis progressing to periodontitis. According to the Journal of Women’s Health, approximately 40% of women have periodontal disease.

An aggressive immune response to microbes in the oral cavity can affect all the tissues that support the teeth. Gum disease can affect the gingiva and cementum, which are gum tissues and tissues at the root of the teeth. If the inflammation progresses, it can affect the tissue surrounding the alveolar bone supporting the teeth.

Signs of Dental Problems During Pregnancy

Pregnant women may experience a variety of symptoms depending on the severity of tooth decay and gum disease. The most common symptoms are swollen gums and toothaches. You should talk to our dental specialist if you have mouth sores or lumps. Advanced symptoms of gum disease include receding gums or pus discharge along the gum line. Gums may pull away from the root of the tooth, leaving the patient vulnerable to tooth loss. The teeth may shift position, creating gaps between the teeth.

Preventing Dental Problems During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning on having a baby, there are several steps you can take to prevent dental problems during pregnancy. A dental appointment for a checkup can determine if you are a high-risk candidate for oral health complications.

Adhere to your oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing your teeth daily. If you experience nausea and vomiting, rinse your mouth first with plain water before brushing your teeth. The acids from the stomach combined with the bristles of the brush can rapidly damage the enamel.

Chicago Dental Esthetics can address any of your questions regarding your oral health during pregnancy. Talk to us by calling (224) 341-5162 to book an appointment today.

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