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MASTERS FAMILY DENTISTRY - 37546 Gratiot Ave., Clinton Township, MI 48036

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

added on: March 25, 2014

You’re expecting! Then we suggest you schedule a visit with our Clinton Township dental office. Last month we talked about how hormones can affect a woman’s oral health. This month we will get a little bit more specific and talk about the link between the pregnancy and gum disease.

How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Oral Health

 When you are pregnant, your body begins to produce more hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone. These hormones can affect, and even exaggerate, the way your gums react to plaque, leading to an increased risk for gum disease. This is not only bad for your smile, it can affect both your and your baby’s overall health.

Pregnancy tumors, or non-cancerous inflammatory growths that develop between the teeth are also thought to be related to excess plaque. Keeping your teeth clean may help prevent these tumors. If they become painful or problematic, talk to us about the possibility of having them removed.

How Periodontal Disease Affects Pregnancy

More and more studies show a direct relationship between periodontal disease and preterm or low-birth-weight babies. Why? All infections, including dental infections, are cause for concern during pregnancy.  When infection is present in the pregnant body, it increases the production of prostaglandins, one of the body’s agents controlling smooth muscle contraction. One of the theories about early labor and gum disease is that when the body produces extra prostaglandins as a reaction to the bacterial infection in your gums, your body reads it as a signal to go into labor. Studies show that pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small.

Dental Procedures to Avoid During Pregnancy

  • Put off any cosmetic or elective procedures until after the birth of your baby.

  • X-rays should only be taken in an emergency situation.

  • Consult an obstetrician during any emergency that requires anesthesia or whenever medication is prescribed.

As mentioned earlier, we do recommend that you keep up with your routine cleanings throughout the pregnancy.

If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, please call our Clinton Township dental office to schedule a periodontal screening.  Dr. Alex or Sophia Masters can set up a hygiene plan to keep your gums – and you – healthy during pregnancy.  It isn’t just important for your health but for your baby’s health too!