Steps to a Healthy
pregnancy affects teeth and gums
periodontal disease is linked to preterm low birthweight babies
to do about periodontal disease during pregnancy
to reduce the risk of premature births
to learn more about oral health and pregnancy
test came back and it's positive – you're pregnant.
Your mind is rattled with excitement, and you have
created a “to-do.” While your “to-do” list and questions
continue to grow, it's important to take the necessary steps
to ensure an on-time and safe arrival of your most precious
probably heard a few old wives' tales about pregnancy, including
“A tooth lost for every child.” While it seems far-fetched,
it actually is based loosely in fact. Your teeth and
gums are affected by pregnancy, just as other tissues in your
body. You may not be aware that the health of your gums may
also affect the health of your baby-to-be.
does pregnancy affect your teeth and gums?
half of women experience pregnancy gingivitis. This
condition can be uncomfortable and cause swelling, bleeding,
redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. Conversely,
a more advanced oral health condition called periodontal disease
(a serious gum infection that destroys attachment fibers and
supporting bone that hold teeth in the mouth) may affect the
health of your baby.
periodontal disease linked to preterm low birthweight babies?
have shown a relationship between periodontal disease and
preterm, low birthweight babies. In fact, pregnant
women with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely
to have a baby that's born too early and too small.
The likely culprit is a labor-inducing chemical found in oral
bacteria called prostaglandin. Very high levels of
prostaglandin are found in women with severe cases of periodontal
do I do?
is very important that you seek dental care. If a friend
or relative is pregnant, encourage them to see a periodontist
as early in the pregnacy as possible.
back to FAQ
American Academy of Periodontolgy web site. To learn more