During pregnancy , the body undergoes many changes. The hormonal changes combined with less than perfect oral hygiene may cause a gum disease.The gum disease during pregnancy can affect the progression of the pregnancy, the foetus or cause fertility complications . Therefore, it is the doctor’s recommendation to keep a good oral hygiene and to go to the dentist before and during pregnancy to examine the condition of your teeth and gums and receive treatment when necessary.
What causes gum disease during pregnancy ?
There are several factors that lead to the development of periodontal disease during pregnancy :
The nausea and vomiting makes it difficult to brush your teeth. As a result , the quality of your brushing decreases and this accelerates the development of gingivitis .
Hormonal changes – the changes in the hormone progesterone directly affects the development of the inflammation and help the bacteria who initiate the gum disease .
The changes in the diet may increase the sugar levels in the mouth. Sugar is the material bacteria use to attach themselves to the teeth and grow.
Which symptoms you may experience?
Gum disease during pregnancy manifests itself with swelling, redness and bleeding when brushing your teeth. Due to the accumulation of bacteria some may suffer from bad breath.
Gum diseases that appears during pregnancy can be a newly established periodontal disease, or an aggravation of an existing periodontal disease, in both instances there is an influence of the changes in pregnancy on the gums and it is important to be aware of the risk and the need to maintain a good oral hygiene.
In severe cases a bleeding lump may appear on the gums called a “pregnancy tumor”. It is not a tumor, but an exacerbated response to the bacteria. It can become very painful and bleed easily making it difficult to eat or speak. In sever cases it may need to be removed.
Please make an appointment to see Dr. Kaufman, to provide you advice how to keep your gums healthy.
The influence of gum disease on your pregnancy.
Beyond the signs and symptoms of gum disease , the bacteria and the resulting infection can cause various complications and impact the course of your pregnancy. It is widely accepted that bacteria originating from a periodontal disease can cause systemic effects in those suffering of heart disease , diabetes and arthritis. It has been found that women with periodontal disease suffer more complications of pregnancy, such as preterm birth , low birth weight and pre-eclampsia .
For women who want to become pregnant, it has been found that gingivitis can postpone the onset of pregnancy by approximately two months. One possible hypothesis that explains this phenomenon indicates that bacteria from the oral cavity reach the reproductive system and interferes with the conception , fertility and retention of the pregnancy.