Pregnancy and Gum Health
The happiness that comes with a positive pregnancy test can be one of the most beautiful life experiences. The excitement which comes with it, planning the nursery, fixing your first prenatal appointment, and seeing your little angel for the first time during your first sonography is one of the most surreal of human experiences.
Planning a dental visit during your pregnancy would definitely not constitute a priority task. However, did you know that hormonal changes during pregnancy can wreak havoc on your oral health?
Studies from the 1960s have shown that there is an increase in gum diseases during pregnancy. Dr. Sanz, a board-certified consultant periodontist in Southern Delaware, is highly efficient at managing and treating all the gum problems that can occur during pregnancy.
WHAT IS PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS?
An increase in estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy puts you at an increased risk of suffering from gum inflammation, leading to pregnancy gingivitis. Almost 70% of women experience pregnancy gingivitis. Generally, pregnancy gingivitis reaches its peak during the third trimester. These hormonal changes also make you more susceptible to bacterial plaque accumulation, which causes gum diseases and even puts you at a higher risk of dental decay.
SYMPTOMS OF PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS
- Swollen gums.
- Red and puffy gums that are tender.
- Bleeding from gums that occurs during brushing or eating.
- Receding gum line.
- Bad breath.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to its more severe destructive form – periodontitis. Once periodontitis sets in, it starts destroying the jaw bone, which harbors the teeth and can lead to loose teeth. Eventually, you may end up losing these teeth due to infection.
Dr. Sanz, our board-certified periodontist at Southern Delaware Dental Specialist, recommends scheduling regular dental visits to stay at the top of your oral health and to prevent any complications that can arise during pregnancy so you can enjoy this experience without any stress.
TREATMENT OF PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS
The best way to prevent pregnancy gingivitis in Southern Delaware is to schedule regular visits with a board-certified periodontist before you plan your pregnancy and during the course of your pregnancy to avoid any undue oral health complications.
At Southern Delaware Dental Specialist, we understand that pregnancy can cause mood changes, make you sluggish, and morning sickness can make practicing good oral hygiene difficult. However, Dr. Sanz recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly to prevent the accumulation of bacteria-laden plaque.
Dr. Sanz, a board-certified periodontist at Southern Delaware, also recommends adding whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products to your diet.
If gingivitis has already set in, Dr. Sanz at Souther Delaware Dental Specialist may recommend you undergo deep cleaning procedures and may put you on certain pregnancy-friendly antibiotics to resolve the infection. Warm salt water gargles and using antiseptic mouthwash will also prevent bacterial accumulation and help prevent gum infection and dental decay.
COMPLICATIONS OF PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS
- Jaw bone loss
- Loose teeth
- Bacteria from plaque can enter the bloodstream and lead to systemic infection, bacteremia.
- If you develop periodontitis, you may risk premature birth, and your baby may also have low birth weight, amongst other complications.
- Research also shows that mothers with bad oral health can transfer these disease-causing bacteria to their newborns.
It is therefore imperative to take good care of your oral health during pregnancy. Dr. Sanz, a highly experienced periodontist at Southern Delaware Dental Specialist, understands the concerns and apprehension that comes during pregnancy and aims to prevent all these undue complications so that you can enjoy your parenthood without any stress. If you plan to get pregnant or are already pregnant, you can schedule an appointment with us at Southern Delaware Dental Specialist to get your oral health problems solved so that you and your developing little one remain healthy and ever-smiling.