Expectant Mothers’ Periodontal Health Vital to Health of Her Baby

 

Pregnancy

In the October 2013 issue of Dental Teamwork, an article was written about how a mother’s overall oral health can also affect the health of her baby.

When a woman becomes pregnant, she knows how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure the health of her baby; it is now highly recommended that expectant mothers maintain their periodontal health as well.

Periodontal disease is a chronic, bacteria-induced inflammatory condition that attacked the gum tissue, and in worse cases, the bone supporting the teeth. Tenderness, redness, swollen/bleeding gums are all signs of periodontal disease. These signs, especially during pregnancy, should not be ignored and may require treatment from a dental professional.

Research has indicated that women with periodontal disease may be at risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes like low-birth weight and pre-term babies. Babies with a birth weight of less than 5.5lbs may be at risk of long-term health problems such as delayed motor skills, social growth and learning disabilities.  Similar complications are true for babies born 3 weeks before their due date. Because of this, we encourage pregnant women to take care of their oral health with regular dental cleanings during their pregnancy.