March 5, 2018
We know well by now that the effects of periodontal disease can be serious — and that’s especially true for pregnant women. It’s so common we call it “pregnancy gingivitis” and, left untreated, it can lead to serious side effects. Keep reading to learn more about the why it’s more important than ever for women to visit a dental professional to avoid periodontal disease in Florham Park once they become pregnant.
About Gum Disease
Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory condition caused by bacteria build up in the mouth. It is most often the result of poor oral hygiene, fluctuations in hormones (especially during menopause or pregnancy), or cigarettes/tobacco use. Patients who have gum disease are at a higher risk of tooth loss and heart problems including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and others. Left untreated, gum disease slowly attacks the tissues that support the teeth, meaning that in the latest stages it results in total tooth loss.
Gum Disease and Pregnancy
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the side effects of gum disease are especially worrisome for pregnant women. Studies show that mothers who have gum disease are at an increased risk of delivering the baby early or reporting low birthweight. Both can affect the long-term development of the child. When you are expecting, do not ignore the symptoms of gum disease, which include bleeding, red, tender gums, persistent bad breath, and gum recession. Pregnancy gingivitis, or the earliest stage of gum disease, is not at all uncommon due to the fluctuations of hormones that occur during pregnancy. This form is usually temporary and mild, but should definitely be monitored by a professional to ensure it does not progress to full-blown gum disease.
Prevention Is Key
Proper oral hygiene is of the utmost importance during pregnancy, as it can help to promote better health for mother and baby. Pregnant women should schedule a checkup and cleaning sometime during the first trimester of their pregnancy and maintain excellent oral hygiene practices throughout.
In order to keep your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy, keep these tips in mind.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day (after each meal is even better)
- Floss between teeth daily
- Drink plenty of water
- If you experience morning sickness, rinse with water immediately after and wait for about 30 minutes before brushing (if you can) to avoid eroding the tooth enamel with too much acidic contact
- Visit a dental professional for a checkup and cleaning at least once during pregnancy
Have further questions about keeping your oral health in check during pregnancy? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office! Your periodontist in Florham Park is here to help you and baby stay safe and healthy throughout your pregnancy.
About Metropolitan Periodontics & Implantology
Our team offers superior periodontal care from the comfort of our state-of-the-art practice. To learn more about laser gum disease treatment in Florham Park or to schedule an appointment with a team of experts, please contact us by calling Dr. Rynar at (973) 377-3131.
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