Pregnancy is considered one of the most beautiful journeys in a woman’s life. But nothing comes without a price. Pregnant women are increasingly prone to periodontal disease which involves the gum and the underlying alveolar bone. This is a silent infection that often goes undiagnosed. until irreparable damage occurs to the teeth and oral structures.
The connection between pregnancy and periodontal disease is explained by our renowned dentist in Powell, TN, and how it can be managed.
Increased risk of periodontal disease in pregnant women
Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that begins with bacterial infiltration in the gingival tissues. When left untreated, it can gradually destroy the underlying alveolar bone. This can significantly deepen the gingival pockets and force gums and jawbone to recede, loosening the teeth involved that eventually fall out.
Expectant mothers are likely to develop periodontal disease that exposes their unborn baby to many kinds of risks. Periodontitis has been linked with poor pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth and low birth weight. This can be attributed to hormonal changes that wreak havoc.
The interconnection between pregnancy and periodontal disease
Signs of periodontal disease can be exacerbated in pregnancy. Periodontal disease can affect the health of the expectant mother and the unborn child due to the following reasons:
The levels of prostaglandin (a labor-inducing component found in periodontitis-causing bacterial strain) appear to be elevated in pregnant women suffering from an advanced form of periodontal disease. This can lead to preterm labor and deliver a baby with a low birth weight.
C-reactive protein (CRP)
CRP was initially linked to heart disease, however, it is now associated with severe pregnancy outcomes like preeclampsia and premature birth. CRP levels are elevated during periodontal disease which intensifies the body’s natural inflammatory response.
The oral bacteria may enter the bloodstream to increase the levels of CRP in the liver, inflaming the arteries and causing blood clots. This leads to an increased incidence of strokes due to blocked arteries.
Diagnosing and treating periodontal disease during pregnancy
It is essential to halt the progression of periodontal disease in order to encourage a safe and healthy delivery. Thus, regular dental visits during pregnancy are important to keep a check on oral health.
Your dentist will evaluate the mouth and assess the extent and degree of soft tissue and bone damage to plan a further course of action.
Deep scaling and root planing are the two safest non-surgical dental procedures that can be performed during pregnancy. This helps to effectively eliminate plaque and tartar to cease the periodontal disease progression.
Dental education and awareness are crucial among pregnant women to reduce their risk of periodontal diseases that can negatively affect their child’s health. This can be achieved through proper home care, dietary changes, healthy lifestyle habits, and consumption of oral vitamin supplements.