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Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy


Pregnant patient from Karl Zeren DDS, Timonium, MDWhen you are pregnant, your body goes through many changes. These changes help your body to grow your infant and prepare you for childbirth. During pregnancy, you are most likely doing everything you can to ensure that you remain healthy. In addition to taking care of your overall health, it is also important that you take care of your oral health. While oral health is important all of the time, it is imperative during pregnancy. Without good oral hygiene, periodontal disease can develop. Periodontal disease does not just affect you; it can also impact your unborn child. Karl Zeren DDS is here to help.

What is Periodontal Disease?


Periodontal disease is often referred to as gum disease. This is a condition that develops as a result of bacteria and plaque in your mouth irritating your gum tissue. When this happens, the immune system sends an inflammatory response, which causes the gums to swell. Without treatment, the swollen gums begin to pull away from your teeth, forming pockets. Bacteria gets trapped in these pockets and continue to attack your gums from below. The pockets grow deeper, and bacteria eventually reach the supporting structures of your teeth. As the bacteria attack these structures, they weaken. This compromises the stability of your teeth.


How Pregnancy Increases Your Risk for Periodontal Disease


When you are pregnant, your body experiences many hormonal changes. These hormonal changes affect how your gums react to the presence of plaque and oral bacteria. The gums are more likely to become irritated and inflamed.

Your risk for periodontal disease may also become higher if brushing your teeth causes you to gag and retch. These issues can cause you to avoid brushing or lead you to try to brush quickly to get it over with. Ignoring brushing, or not brushing properly, can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria on your teeth.

What are the Effects of Periodontal Disease During Pregnancy?


If you develop periodontal disease while pregnant, it is not just your health that is at risk. The health of your developing child may also be compromised. Pregnancy-related complications that can develop include
•  An increased risk for developing pre-eclampsia.
•  Giving birth before 37 weeks, also referred to as preterm birth.
•  Low birth weight. If your child is born underweight, they are at greater risk for many different types of complications, such as trouble staying warm, breathing issues, and issues with their nervous system.


Taking Care of Your Mouth During Pregnancy


Taking care of your mouth is important all of the time. It is especially important during pregnancy. You should continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once daily. Additionally, you should also maintain your routine dental cleanings and exams. It is important that you let us know that you are pregnant so that we can tailor your dental care. Should you notice that your gums are red and swollen, or you find that they are bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth, it is important that you schedule an appointment right away.

Oral hygiene is not just important for you; it is also crucial for the health of your developing baby. If you suspect that you have periodontal disease, call Karl Zeren DDS at (410) 316-6141 today to schedule your appointment.

Office Location

9515 Deereco Rd. Suite 308
Timonium, MD 21093

Opening Hours

Mon, Tue, Thr: 8am–5:00 pm
Fri: Complex surgical cases


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