A study published in Oral Health & Preventative Dentistry suggests that treating gingivitis in pregnant patients can lower the risk of pre-term births and increase birth weights. Though pregnant individuals must balance many medical concerns, this research points out that they should not let their periodontal health fall to the wayside.
Gingivitis refers to the early stage of gum disease, an infection in the gum tissue. Though common, this infection can wreak havoc on your dental structure. And inflammation from the infection can trigger systemic problems in the body.
Inflamed gums from gingivitis, then, can lead to complications with pregnancy as well. Recognizing the health risks that come with gum disease can encourage you to take action to prevent contracting it. Read on to discover more about how gum disease can impact other underlying medical conditions, including pregnancy.
Signs of Gingivitis
Gingivitis develops soon after bacteria reach the gum tissue. The resulting irritation will inflame the gums, which, as mentioned, will lead to overall systemic problems in the body. But you can see certain symptoms when this occurs as well.
Many patients will see redness, soreness, swelling, or bleeding in the gums when they contract gingivitis. Symptoms can worsen as gum disease progresses, and you might then notice gum recession, tooth discoloration, and more in your smile.
However, gum disease can also develop without recognizable symptoms, and many people might not realize they have it. For this reason, make sure you visit your dentist on a regular basis.
They can perform periodontal disease screenings to catch this infection during your routine dental check-up. Gum disease is easier to treat when diagnosed sooner, so do not ignore any symptoms.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
Treating gingivitis in this early stage of infection can begin directly after your diagnosis. The dentist will want to thoroughly clean your teeth of plaque and excess bacteria. They will reach deep into the gum pockets to do so in a cleaning method known as scaling and root planing.
The dentist might also give you an antibacterial rinse to use at home. This will balance the natural oral bacteria so that they will be less likely to spread and access your gums.
If the infection persists, you might need additional periodontal therapy. A dentist can employ minimally invasive lasers to remove and restore infected gum tissue. More advanced cases might require surgery to fully treat.
How to Protect Your Gums
Protecting your gums from infection starts with proper at-home oral health care. You must stick to a thorough and consistent oral hygiene routine. This will include brushing your teeth at least twice per day and flossing daily.
Visit your dentist for routine teeth cleanings as well to maximize this oral cleanliness. They can also examine your smile during these appointments to ensure you have no underlying conditions that could hurt your gums.
Pregnant patients could have a higher risk of contracting gum disease, so they might need more frequent visits to the dentist to combat it. Call your dentist to find personalized preventative dental care that will preserve your smile.