Header background

How does oral health affect pregnancy?


Written by Charan

Last updated

Oral health can have an impact on pregnancy outcomes. Pregnant women with poor oral health, particularly gum disease, have a higher risk of experiencing complications during pregnancy.

Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the tissues surrounding the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligaments, and alveolar bone. When left untreated, gum disease can lead to the destruction of these supporting structures and the eventual loss of teeth.

During pregnancy, hormonal changes can affect the body's response to bacteria and increase the risk of gum disease. Additionally, the increased blood flow and hormonal changes during pregnancy can make the gums more sensitive and prone to inflammation.

Research has shown that pregnant women with gum disease have a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight babies. The bacteria and inflammatory substances associated with gum disease can enter the bloodstream and reach the placenta, potentially triggering an inflammatory response that can lead to premature birth. Low birth weight babies are also more susceptible to various health problems.

It is important for pregnant women to maintain good oral hygiene practices and seek regular dental care. This includes brushing and flossing daily, as well as scheduling dental check-ups and professional cleanings. It is generally safe to undergo dental treatments during pregnancy, but it is important to inform the dentist about the pregnancy and any medications being taken.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and avoiding tobacco use, can contribute to both oral health and a healthy pregnancy.