Gum Disease and Premature Birth: How to Protect Your Baby

When you're pregnant, your hormones may affect your oral health, making you more prone to developing problems with your teeth and gums. This doesn't just affect you but may also affect your baby if you suffer from periodontal gum disease during pregnancy.

According to the Better Health Channel, there is evidence that gum disease may trigger premature births, causing an estimated 18 cases in every 100 premature births. To be on the safe side, you should work with your dentist to maintain a good standard of oral hygiene both before and during your pregnancy.

Get Checked Over Before You Get Pregnant

It's a good idea to have your teeth and gums checked out before you get pregnant. If you have existing problems, you'll probably find it easier to have them sorted before your pregnancy than during it. If this isn't possible, go for a check-up as soon as you can.

Chances are, you'll get a clean bill of health from your dentist if you already look after your teeth and gums well. It's still useful to have a dentist check you over. You need to maintain high standards of oral hygiene in pregnancy, and your dentist may be able to spot areas that need more work, giving you advice on how to keep your teeth and gums in the best condition while you're pregnant.

Have Regular Check-ups While You're Pregnant

Make sure to continue visiting your dentist for regular check-ups while you're pregnant. If you do develop problems, this helps your dentist to see them early and to help you sort them out before they get serious.

Don't assume that you can skip check-ups because you're taking extra care to keep your teeth and gums clean. According to the Better Health Channel, gum disease in pregnancy isn't necessarily about bad oral hygiene; it may become more of a problem for pregnant women because your hormones are all over the place. This may make it harder for your body to control problems that may contribute to gum disease such as plaque.

Don't Ignore Gum Problems

If you notice that your gums are changing or that they start to develop problems, it's a good idea to have them checked out by a dentist like Collins Dental Image as soon as you can. For example, you should make an appointment if you notice the following issues:

  • Your gums feel or look swollen or have swellings on them.
  • Your gums bleed very easily when you brush or floss your teeth.