Pregnant Women at Risk for Periodontal Disease

Loving, happy pregnant couple relaxing at home.

Pregnant women know they need to eat healthy foods to help their babies develop and grow. But it’s also important that they take good care of their teeth to prevent tooth decay. A woman’s oral health can contribute to the healthiness of her newborn. Moms-to-be should brush their teeth twice daily, for two minutes each time, and floss once a day. If good oral health habits are not maintained, pregnant women may be at risk for developing periodontal disease.

Impact of periodontal disease

Periodontal disease affects more than 38% of women. It creates a bacterial infection that can enter the bloodstream. When pregnant, women with periodontal disease may:

  • give birth prematurely to babies with low birth weights
  • increase their risk for pregnancy complications

Periodontal disease warning signs

Here are six symptoms that may indicate periodontal disease:

  1. Gums that bleed easily
  2. Red, swollen or tender gums
  3. Receding gums
  4. Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  5. Changes in the way teeth fit together
  6. Loose teeth

Recommendations for treatment

Periodontal disease can be treated by a dentist. The key is to catch it early. Here are two things to know:

  1. Treatment options for periodontal disease may include nonsurgical therapies to control bacterial growth, or surgery to restore supportive tissues.
  2. In addition to daily brushing and flossing, regular dental appointments help keep teeth and gums healthy. Read this blog to learn more about gum disease, scaling and deep cleaning.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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