How Gum Disease Affects Expecting Mothers

a dental patient getting an oral health check.

A pregnancy is truly a time of great joy for an expecting mother. It can also be a time of confusion and discomfort as her body experiences the dramatic changes associated with pregnancy and motherhood. One big change that many expecting mothers experience during pregnancy happens to their gums. Some women find they need the experience and expertise of a periodontist during and after their pregnancy. This Mother’s Day on May 14th, make it a point to put your gum health first, whether you are expecting or not. Dr. Keith Chertok, who treats gum disease in Berkeley, CA, can help women make changes to their oral health routine to combat the increased risk of gum disease during pregnancy or other times in life. Here are some things to know about gum disease and pregnancy.


Increased Hormones

The reason why pregnant women are at risk of developing gum disease is because of the rising hormone levels in the body. This combined with the increased blood flow gives some women swollen, tender gums.


Bacteria and Infection

The body’s increasing hormones may also impact how the immune system deals with infections. Bacteria from the mouth may be more likely to cause a periodontal infection or cavities.


Potential for Tooth Decay

Pregnancy also increases the amount of acids in a woman’s mouth. Acid can start breaking down the tooth enamel and making teeth more likely to develop decay.


Impact on the Baby

Ignoring gum and teeth problems during pregnancy can make a bad situation much worse. Research has found a link to dental problems during pregnancy, such as gum disease, and preterm labor and/or low birthweight babies. Dr. Chertok recommends regular dental checkups during pregnancy to combat this.

Expecting mothers should make a commitment to prioritizing their dental health during this time period. Contact our Berkeley, CA office to find out more helpful tips for your teeth during pregnancy and after. Schedule an appointment today!


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