When you learned you are pregnant, we’re willing to bet that gum disease was the last thing on your mind! The truth is, hormonal changes increase your risk for developing oral health problems like gingivitis and gum disease while you are pregnant. This not only impacts your health—it can also impact the health of your child. It’s important to be especially observant of your oral health during this time, and that includes keeping regular appointments with your dentist. If you’re searching for a family dentist in Albuquerque, NM, choose Dr. Jeff S. Luffey, DDS.
What is Pregnancy Gingivitis?
About 40% of women develop gingivitis during pregnancy. The condition even has a name—pregnancy gingivitis. The cause of pregnancy gingivitis? Increased levels of progesterone that make it easier for bacteria to grow, the same bacteria that causes gum disease. Usually, women experience gum inflammation between their second and eighth month of pregnancy. Symptoms of gum disease include swollen, sensitive or bleeding gums.
Pregnancy Gingivitis & Your Child
You may be surprised to learn that gum disease can affect your child before he or she is born, but major studies support this fact. Here are a few fast facts about how gum disease can affect your pregnancy and your child:
- Expectant mothers with gum disease are seven times more likely to have premature or low birth weight babies.
- Major studies have shown that there is a link between gum disease & premature birth. Women with gum disease face a higher risk for preterm labor and delivering low birth weight babies.
- Gum disease and inflammation may trigger an increased production of prostaglandin, a chemical compound that induces labor. Too much of this chemical too early could cause pre-term labor.
The good news is, you can prevent gum disease by maintaining good oral hygiene at home and keeping regular appointments with your family dentist.
How to Prevent Pregnancy Gingivitis
The most important way to prevent pregnancy gingivitis is simple: brush twice daily and floss once per day. You may feel concerned that getting any type of dental treatment could put your pregnancy at risk, but the opposite is true! Keep regular appointments with your family dentist for dental exams and professional tooth cleanings. This allows your dentist to observe your oral health and ensure that you are on the right track. Any major dental work will wait until after your child is born.
Albuquerque Family Dentist—Contact Us to Schedule an Exam
Did you recently become pregnant? Schedule a dental exam with Dr. Jeff S. Luffey, DDS, an Albuquerque family dentist. Dr. Luffey will help ensure your smile stays healthy throughout your pregnancy, and can also provide dental care for your entire family from childhood through adulthood. Call 505-204-4700 to schedule an appointment.