Pregnant women need to be aware of how their oral health and their pregnancy are related. There can actually be major complications during a pregnancy because of gum disease, which is why it's a condition that shouldn't be ignored. By understanding the importance of maintaining good oral health during pregnancy, you'll protect your baby from potential harm.
The reason that gum disease is so serious during pregnancy is because of the risk it has to the baby. If you develop gum disease, it will be due to bacteria infecting your gums, teeth, and the jaw bone. If the bacteria gets into your blood, it can potentially travel to the baby, which puts the baby at risk of having a low birth weight or even a premature birth.
When a baby is born with a low birth weight or delivered prematurely, they're more likely to have other health problems. Thankfully, all it takes is good oral hygiene during your pregnancy to give your baby some extra protection from the complications caused by gum disease.
However, you may have had issues with gum disease prior to becoming pregnant. You'll want to work with a dentist, such as Tony Parsley, DMD, to treat your issues with gum disease as soon as possible in order to avoid a potential complication. Don't feel like you can't have the problem treated because you're pregnant since the treatment is not nearly as bad for the baby when compared to the complications that can come with gum disease.
For those without preexisting gum disease, you will want to brush twice a day, floss regularly, and have your teeth cleaned by your dentist. A regular cleaning should happen at least once during a pregnancy, and it poses no harm to the baby. If problems are discovered during a cleaning, your dentist can work with you to treat it in the safest manner possible.
Be aware of what the early stages of gum disease are. You may have bad breath at all times, even after brushing your teeth. Some teeth may feel loose that were once stable. There can be puss underneath your gums in small pockets or receding gums that are exposing more of your teeth.
A dentist will use the scaling and planning method to treat gum disease, which is essentially aggressive cleaning that's safe for the baby. Once the treatment is finished, you still need to brush and floss regularly during the pregnancy to keep your teeth and gums healthy.