Oral Fetus/Pregnancy Connection


A major concern among pregnant women is the health of their newborn babies. It has long been known that pregnant women have a tendency to experience inflamed gums during pregnancy if they are not meticulous about their oral health care. When the teeth are not properly brushed and flossed during pregnancy, a condition known as gingivitis can occur in the gum tissue around the teeth. Gingivitis is an early inflammatory form of periodontal disease. If the gingivitis progresses with resulting bone loss, the condition will advance to a form of gum disease called periodontitis.

Periodontitis has been studied at many major universities and research centers for its relationship to other parts of the human body. In pregnant women, it has been noted that there is a higher risk of preterm birth, eclampsia, and low weight newborn babies. Babies that are born less than 5.5 pounds are at risk for other health problems. These include delayed motor skills, vision problems, hearing loss, respiratory and digestive problems and learning disabilities. The American Academy of Periodontology states that nonsurgical treatment of periodontal disease during pregnancy is safe and effective. The most notable signs and symptoms of periodontal disease most are bleeding or swelling gum tissue. If these symptoms occur periodontal treatment should be sought as quickly as possible. This will help reduce the inflammation of the gum tissue and reduce the risk of progression along with its other potential risks to the fetus.