As a Preventive Care dental practice, we are focused on the risk assessment of every patient. Each one is different and so the risk assessment is tailor-made to the individual’s circumstances. With young adults, we are mindful that pregnancy can be around the corner. Having a healthy body in every aspect, prepares an adult for pregnancy. Gum disease is after all, just a bacterial infection causing bleeding gums and loose teeth. Additionally, the hormonal changes in pregnancy can aggravate the gum inflammation. But, are oral problems the only worry?
Premature birth is a term used when a baby is delivered prior to 37 weeks gestation. When this happens, the baby is born with incomplete organ and system development and carries a high risk of mortality. Some of these risks stem from weak breathing, poor digestion and feeding and temperature regulation. There is the additional increased risk of infections, poor long term development and neurological problems. Preventing premature birth is therefore a focus.
Research has demonstrated a direct link between periodontal disease and the increased risk of premature birth. Up to 18% of premature births can be linked to the presence of periodontal disease in the mother. In one research study, a batch of pregnant women with gum disease were divided into 2 groups. One group received periodontal therapy while the other was given an antibacterial mouth rinse to use. It was found that the latter batch of women had 3 times the number of low birth weight pre-term babies.
It is believed that gum disease and the significant bacterial presence sensitizes the body of the mother to reject foreign proteins. The baby’s tissue is recognized as foreign and this begins the pre-term labour. Whilst this theory is not conclusively proven, there is a link and it is best to eliminate all bacterial presence and reduce any risk to the pregnant mother and so protect the unborn child.
To improve the health of a woman, we must initiate periodontal screening and therapy as soon as possible to improve health of the mother and possibly reduce the risk of a pre-term and low birth weight baby. If you would like to have additional information on periodontal disease or would like an assessment of your Oral Health, please contact us.
We want YOU to choose US for your journey to excellent Oral care.