About half of women who are pregnant experience a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. This condition can be uncomfortable and cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. A more advanced oral health condition called periodontal disease (a serious gum infection that destroys attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold teeth in the mouth) may affect the health of your baby. Studies have shown a relationship between periodontal disease and preterm, low birth-weight babies. In fact, pregnant women with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that’s born too early and too small. The likely culprit is a labor-inducing chemical found in oral bacteria called prostaglandin. Very high levels of prostaglandin are found in women with severe cases of periodontal disease.
- I have dentures. Is it necessary for me to still see my dentist?
- I am undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation for cancer treatment, how can this affect my mouth?
- Why do I have to take antibiotics before my dental appointment?
- I just found out I am pregnant. How can this affect my mouth?
- I have diabetes. Why is my dentist concerned?