A successful pregnancy hinges on increased hormonal production. However, these increased level, while necessary for the pregnancy, can have adverse side effects on the expectant mother’s oral heath. Most common is pregnancy gingivitis. Anyone can have gingivitis, gum tissue inflammation caused by plaque. However, during pregnancy, more damaging gingival-producing bacteria is produced. Some expectant moms who have never had gingivitis problems all of the sudden do. And If there is already gingivitis at the beginning of the pregnancy, their gum inflammation will exacerbate as the pregnancy progresses.
Pregnancy gingivitis occurs in up to 75% of all pregnant women. However, with proper dental care, the likelihood of developing gingivitis drops precipitously. If a woman is plaque-free at the beginning of her pregnancy, and continues to maintain good oral hygiene habits throughout her term, which includes regular dental visits, there is less than a 1% chance of developing pregnancy gingivitis.
What does this mean for you? Women planning to start a family should visit a dentist for their health and their baby’s health. A preconception dental visit is important in the event that extensive treatment requiring x-rays and sedation is needed. However, if you develop gum disease while pregnant, don’t panic. Routine dental cleanings are always safe for your baby. It’s never too late to go to your dentist and get any dental problems under control.