Pregnancy is a miraculous event, whether it is a woman’s first pregnancy or her fourth. It is a time in life where drastic changes occur over a very short span of time. Of course, if you are the one pregnant those nine months can feel like “forever.” Yet in reality, nine months is a short span of time to conceive, develop, and give life to a brand new human! During those nine months, a lot more happens that just a growing abdomen. The entire blood supply must double in order to supply the baby with nutrients while also keeping the mother’s body functioning, the respiratory system rises to accommodate the increased demand for oxygen, the breasts grow and change for lactation, and hormone levels rise and shift drastically. These changes, along with all of the development of a baby are truly phenomenal. Of these changes, one of the most significant is the fluctuation of hormones. Changes in hormones can have an effect on an expectant mother’s oral health and cause serious complications.
Gum disease during pregnancy can pose life-threatening risks to a mother and her growing baby. “Pregnancy gingivitis” affects approximately 40% of expectant mothers, causing red, swollen, tender gums that are irritated and lower the mouth’s immunity.
Inside every mouth are millions of bacteria – and if that piece of information does not encourage you to floss and brush more often, nothing will! These bacteria are present to help break down particles left behind inside the mouth after eating and drinking. While these bacteria mean to be “helpful,” bacteria are notorious for being linked to infections. If the gum tissues are irritated and infected by pregnancy gingivitis, the infection can easily pass into the blood stream and travel to the uterus. If bacteria from infection cross through to the placenta, severe consequences can occur.
Research has proven a direct link between gum disease and the following pregnancy complications:
- Preterm labor
- Low birthweight babies
At Green Dental of Alexandria, we encourage expectant mothers to make their oral health a priority. Our practice offers safe and comprehensive dentistry services. Please contact us to schedule an appointment to keep you and your growing baby safe.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria
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1725 Duke St, Suite GR03
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 549-1725