Research has proven that there is a link between periodontal disease and preeclampsia, premature birth, and low birth-weight babies. If you have gum disease, you are exposing your unborn child to a number of risks. Please call Wasatch Gentle Dental at 801-262-6661 to learn more about pregnancy and periodontal disease and schedule your consultation with Dr. Andrew Smith and Dr. Bradley Smith in Murray, Utah.
During pregnancy, you experience many hormonal changes, increasing your risk of developing gum disease. Maintaining good oral health and receiving prompt treatment for gum disease will help you keep your mouth free from periodontal disease and reduce the risk of pre-natal and post-natal complications for your child.
There are many reasons why periodontal disease may affect the health of a mother and her unborn child. These include:
- Prostaglandin – gum disease elevates the levels of prostaglandin (a labor-inducing compound found in one of the oral bacteria strains associated with periodontitis), and can cause mothers to give birth prematurely or deliver a baby with a low birth weight.
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) – this protein, also linked to heart disease, is associated with negative pregnancy outcomes such as preeclampsia and premature birth. Periodontal disease elevates the levels of CPR and amplifies the body’s inflammatory response. These inflammatory effects can lead to blocked arteries, causing strokes or heart attacks.
- Bacteria Spread – bacteria in the gum pockets can travel through the bloodstream and affect other areas of the body. In pregnant women, this bacteria colonizes in the internal mammary glands and coronary arteries.
There are many safe, non-surgical treatment options for pregnant women with periodontal disease. Receiving immediate treatment for periodontal disease can reduce the pregnancy complications caused by this condition by up to 50%, and alleviate many of the harmful effects associated with gingivitis.
For more information about the link between pregnancy and periodontal disease, and to make your appointment with our dentists, call our office today.