Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy gum disease’

Can Gum Disease Make Conceiving More Difficult?

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Are you or a loved one trying to get pregnant? Then you’ll definitely want to read on…

ScienceDaily.com reports that at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology Professor Roger Hart stated the gum disease has as much a negative  impact on trying to conceive as obesity.  As we’ve previously stated, gum disease in pregnant women (or “pregnancy  gingivitis”) can result in a premature birth.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) has been linked with many types of illness: respiratory and kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease. However, this new report says that having gum disease prior to conception may make trying to get pregnant that much more difficult.

Professor Hart is the Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Western Australia in Perth and Medical Director of Fertility Specialists of Western Australia. He stated, “Until now, there have been no published studies that investigate whether gum disease can affect a woman’s chance of conceiving, so this is the first report to suggest that gum disease  might be one of several factors that could be modified to improve the chances of pregnancy.”

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Gingivitis During Pregnancy

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through various (if not dramatic) changes: back aches, swelling of the feet and ankles, random food cravings, and more.

With all that is going on with your body and all of the planning required to welcome this new little one into the world, I bet that your teeth and gums are probably the last thing on your mind.

However, did you know that the hormonal changes your body is experiencing during pregnancy can lead to “Pregnancy Gingivitis”?

If you already have gingivitis going into pregnancy, this condition is likely to get worse without proper gum care. Pregnant women that have gum disease are also six times more likely to have a baby that is premature or has a low-birth weight. (more…)

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Pregnancy and Bad Breath

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

pregnancy bad breath

Bad breath is a dilemma that is even more common in pregnant women. The hormonal changes encountered in women who are expecting make her dental condition weaker, thus making her more susceptible to halitosis. Not all pregnant women have this problem, but the percentage is definitely higher.

There are many tips out there for pregnant women to take heed to, and one of them might be to increase the calcium intake because calcium deficiency often happens in pregnant women. Calcium supplements may be recommended for both during and after pregnancy because it makes the teeth stronger and prevents other oral problems like gum disease and bad breath. Since women should not take in any chemicals that could endanger a baby’s health, it is especially hard to treat conditions like gingivitis during pregnancy.

Also, since pregnant women should not use most mouthwashes because of the chemical content, they need to find other ways to treat halitosis. Herbal alternatives may be recommended for preventing the anaerobic bacteria that causes bad breath during pregnancy. Some herbal cures may include lemon oil, peppermint oil, or lime oil for starters. Also, expecting mothers can try gargling water with salt and drinking fresh lemon juice to prevent bad breath.

If one goes through the efforts of trying these herbal cures and practicing good oral hygiene, she should be able to get rid of bad breath quickly. Not all problems can be solved with a store-bought medication, so it’s worthwhile to look at the natural alternatives. Also, one should make sure she does not have another underlying medical condition that causes the bad breath, so she should schedule checkups with her doctor if she is having persistent halitosis. This is the best way to keep expecting moms and their babies healthy.

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Pregnancy Gingivitis

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Pregnancy Gingivitis Dr Katz discusses the problems with pregnancy gingivitis, and what expecting mothers can do to prevent gum disease / periodontal disease.

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Pregnancy Gingivitis

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Pregnancy gingivitis” is the swelling/inflammation of the gums that many pregnant women suffer, especially early on in their pregnancy.  It is caused by a bacterial film that grows on the teeth, resulting in plaque buildup.  This plaque irritates the gum tissue, making them tender, bright red, swollen, sensitive, and easy to make bleed. 

The hormonal changes during pregnancy change the body’s natural response to dental plaque, and thus exaggerate the way the gum tissues react to the bacteria in plaque, thus resulting in a higher chance of pregnant women getting gingivitis.  Generally, if extra care is taken of the teeth and possible plaque buildup, it can be prevented.  It is even more important to have a good oral hygienic routine during this time. 

It is very important for expecting mothers to take care quickly if they have gum disease because they have a six times greater risk of having preterm and low-birth weight babies!  If expecting mothers had untreated tooth decay and/or consumed a lot of sugar, their children had four times the risk of developing tooth decay as opposed to children of other mothers.

Tip:  Women who are pregnant should have a periodontal exam as part of prenatal care.  Statistics have found that only half of expecting mothers receive proper dental care.

As far as hormones are concerned, expecting mothers (and also women who take oral contraceptives) generally experience elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone.  This is why pregnant women have a 65 to 70% chance of developing gingivitis during the pregnancy.  The risk of getting gingivitis increases beginning with the second month of pregnancy and decreases with the ninth month. 

If you already have gingivitis going in to a pregnancy, it will likely get worse during pregnancy if you do not get treatment.  Keep in mind that it is the bacteria in plaque that causes gingivitis by infecting the gum tissue and not the hormonal changes. 

The problem with gum disease (periodontal disease) is that the infected gums are toxic reservoirs of disease-causing bacteria.  The toxins released can attack the ligaments, gums, and bones surrounding your teeth to create infected pockets similar to large infected wounds in the oral cavity.  These pockets, unfortunately, can provide access to your bloodstream and allow bacteria to travel throughout your body. 

Since the bacteria that cause gingivitis can enter the bloodstream, the bacteria can travel all the way down to the uterus.  This triggers the body to produce prostaglandins, which is a natural fatty acid that normally controls inflammation and smooth muscle contraction.  When a woman is pregnant, her level of prostaglandins increases and peaks when she goes into labor.  It is possible that if extra prostaglandins are produced when the body is reacting to infected gums, a pregnant women’s body may think it is a signal to go into labor sooner than expected, thus causing a baby to be born too early or too small. 

Pregnancy Tumors

Pregnancy tumors (pyogenic granuloma) are part of the exaggerated response to the plaque/bacteria that causes gum disease.  They are inflammatory and benign growths that develop on the gums, and although they are not cancerous, they should be treated.  They are rare and usually painless.

Beware of any medications that you take during pregnancy when you are treating an infection.   

How to Prevent Pregnancy Gingivitis:

-          Brush teeth 2-3X a day and after meals whenever possible
-          Floss and use mouthwash every day
-          If you are suffering from morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water frequently and/or brush your teeth as often as possible to neutralize the acid caused by vomiting
-          If toothbrushing causes morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water, brush without the toothpaste and use an anti-plaque fluoride mouthwash afterwards
-          Eat healthy foods with plenty of vitamin B12 and C
-           See a dentist for advice on preventing/controlling plaque and gingivitis.  Schedule routine checkups and dental cleanings.

Source:  Dental Gentle Care

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