Periodontics and Pregnancy: How the Two are Related

Posted on: August 26, 2015


As a provider of periodontics, we understand how important it is to prevent gum disease. While we can effectively treat the condition, it starts with preventative care. Our goal is to help our patients to avoid gum disease and the complications that come with it. This is especially true when it comes to our pregnant patients. We have found that most women head straight to their OB/GYN when they first become pregnant and for good reason. The problem is that few women are aware that their next call needs to be to the dentist. This is critical because pregnant women are at an increased risk for developing gum disease, and gum disease has been shown to cause low birth weight and premature delivery. These two conditions can force a newborn to spend more time in the hospital, create a need for intensive care, and even cause developmental delays. These conditions are incredibly serious, so the risk should not be treated lightly. The good news, though, is that we can both prevent and treat gum disease, making this a non-issue. All you need to do is visit our office twice while you are pregnant.

During routine appointments, we will examine your teeth and gums before cleaning them so that the plaque and tartar can be removed. This single step is critical for preventing gum disease because gum disease normally develops as a result of plaque buildup underneath the gums. By removing plaque from the teeth, it is less likely to gather, build up, and become trapped underneath the gums. In most cases, this is enough to prevent gum disease. However, pregnant women are more susceptible to the condition due to a decrease in blood flow. As such, you should never assume that you can’t get it. Rather, take the steps necessary to prevent it.

If you do develop gum disease, treatments from a periodontics office will be critical in assuring it is properly treated. The treatments involve deep cleaning. In this basic procedure, we remove the plaque and tartar that has built up underneath the gums. Since this is typically what causes the problem, removing it will allow the gums to return to a good condition. This procedure may take several appointments to complete, but it is necessary for treating the problem. If, however, gum disease has advanced, and the gums have begun to recede, more drastic measures will be required. In this case, we may need to perform a gum graft to secure more tissue around what little you have left of your natural gums. Completing this procedure will allow your gums to once again be secured around your teeth.  

As a periodontics office, we focus on preventing and treating gum disease and all aspects of related care. We can perform these and other procedures after helping you to relax and numbing the area that is being worked on. This way, the process will be comfortable, and you can be certain that by treating the gum disease, both you and your future child will be in better health.

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