About half mothers to be are likely to suffer from gum diseases during pregnancy. As a result of hormonal changes and a relatively poor dental hygiene, gums tend to be excessively sensitive during pregnancy, causing problems like gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (gum disease). Saliva, food and bacteria form a coating on your teeth called plaque and makes your gums prone to bleeding. The gums become red and swollen and may exhibit extreme sensitivity. Vomiting during pregnancy also makes the acids from the stomach corrode the teeth. If the gums are left without cleaning then they start affecting bones and can cause periodontitis. This condition can lead to an early labor or a poor birth weight of the baby, making pregnancy all the more complicated. Infact women who are already struggling with dental problems may just feel that pregnancy has made them worse.
Gum inflammation generally strikes between the 2nd and 8th month of a pregnancy. Usual symptoms of gum diseases are red gums that may bleed when you brush, severe sensitivity and pain. These symptoms can further aggravate to swelling and bleeding of a gum tissue .
Some of the common symptoms of gum diseases during pregnancy include:
The increased levels of progesterone during pregnancy puts pregnant women at a higher risk of developing dental problems as it causes an exaggerated response to plaque bacteria. Gingivitis is common in women during months 2 to 8 of pregnancy, and even though you may follow a healthy oral care routine, you still run at a risk of developing gingivitis during pregnancy. It is much advisable to see a dentist prior to conception, however, if you miss out on that then you need to tell your dentist when you conceive- so that he can schedule your appointments accordingly. Dental cleanings during the second or early third trimester will help you deal with gingivitis.
There are several reasons, which can result into poor dental health. Here are some of those:
Significant studies have shown a link between poor dental hygiene and premature birth. Researchers of one study who published their results in The Journal of the American Dental Association found that pregnant women with chronic gum disease were four to seven times more likely to deliver prematurely (before gestational week 37) and underweight babies than mothers with healthy gums.(Source: Webmd.com).
However, it is not yet been established if treating gum diseases reduces the risk of premature or low weight birth.
Prevention of Tooth Decay During Pregnancy
A balanced diet, a good oral care routine and a bit of awareness can help you atleast deal with gum problems , if not prevent it. Happy Pregnancy!