Photograph of pregnant woman accompanying article about the link between pregnancy and periodontal disease and preterm birth.

The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Premature Births

October 21, 2023 9:00 am

Pregnancy is an incredible journey, but it also comes with a heightened need for dental care. Surprisingly, there is a connection between periodontal (gum) disease and premature births, making oral health during pregnancy a crucial concern. In this blog, we’ll explore the link between periodontal disease and premature births, along with preventive measures to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It can range from mild gum inflammation (gingivitis) to severe, advanced stages (periodontitis). The condition often presents with symptoms like bleeding gums, swollen or red gums, and bad breath.

The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Premature Births

Numerous studies have found a correlation between periodontal disease and premature births. While the exact mechanisms are not entirely understood, it’s believed that the inflammation and bacteria associated with gum disease may trigger an inflammatory response in the body, potentially leading to preterm labor and low birth weight.

Potential Risks

Pregnant individuals with untreated or severe periodontal disease may be at a higher risk of experiencing complications such as:

  • Preterm Birth: Delivering the baby before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Low Birth Weight: Babies born with a birth weight of less than 5.5 pounds, which can lead to health issues.
  • Preeclampsia: A pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and damage to organs like the liver and kidneys.

Preventive Measures for a Healthy Pregnancy

Taking preventive measures, especially during pregnancy, can encourage good oral hygiene.

  • Regular Dental Check-ups
  • Schedule a dental visit before or during pregnancy to address any existing dental issues.

  • Daily Oral Care
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to prevent gum disease.

  • Safe Dental X-Rays
  • With digital X-rays, radiation exposure for patients is miniscule. If needed, dental X-rays can be performed during pregnancy with proper shielding to minimize radiation exposure.

Consult With Our Jonesboro Dentist About Your Health

Maintaining good oral health is not only vital for your well-being but also for the health of your unborn child. The link between periodontal disease and premature births underscores the importance of proper dental care during pregnancy. At Dickson Family Dental Care, we encourage you to work with Dr. Dickson to ensure a healthy pregnancy and smile. Get in touch with our team today!

Contact Us

Categorised in: