Oral health conditions associated with pregnancy
There are a number of oral health conditions associated with pregnancy; some common, some not so common.
More often than not, these conditions can be prevented through proper oral hygiene practices and consultation with your dentist and medical professional.
Pregnancy-related oral health conditions include some of the following:
Pregnancy Gingivitis: Pregnancy gingivitis is a common condition affecting women during pregnancy. It is caused as a result of bacteria becoming trapped in between your teeth. It can be managed if diagnosed early enough.
Pregnancy gingivitis can yield a variety of symptoms, including:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- The sensation of loose teeth
- Spaces between teeth
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
- Pus along the gums
- Change in bite
It is important to seek the advice of your dentist about gingivitis so that the condition does not progress into periodontal disease. The development of periodontal disease can be additionally problematic for pregnant women and their children.
Periodontal Disease: Periodontal disease can develop as a result of untreated gingivitis. Also called periodontitis, it leads to the deterioration of bone and surrounding gum tissue.
Periodontal disease may produce a variety of symptoms, including:
- Bleeding gums
- Inflamed gums
- Tender gums
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Tooth loss
Periodontal disease can also be asymptomatic (producing no symptoms at all) even while silently causing erosion of your gums and supporting bone structure.
While periodontal disease is a concern for everyone, it is especially problematic for pregnant women. The development of periodontal disease during pregnancy poses an increased risk for pre-term labor and low birth weight babies. Pregnant women suffering from periodontal disease should consult with their dentist and medical doctor immediately.
Pregnancy Tumors (Pyogenic Granulomas): Pregnant women with gingivitis or periodontal disease are more susceptible to the development of pregnancy tumors, also called pyogenic granulomas. These tumors make it difficult for you to eat or speak and can cause discomfort. Pregnancy tumors can be removed by your dentist during pregnancy.
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