Pregnancy and Oral Health

This is an alert for pregnant women who are at an increased risk for developing gingivitis(periodontal disease), pregnancy tumors, and mild to severe gingival enlargement, according to a recent report published in General Dentistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry.

In the olden days, pregnant women were not likely to go the dentist. There were concerns about the safety of dental procedures during pregnancy. However, today there has been more awareness created about the importance of oral health and the true safety of dental procedures during pregnancy. For example, if oral conditions are not treated during pregnancy, they can progress over time. So, let’s review some of the common oral health issues and the solutions for women who are pregnant.

Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the precursor for periodontal disease. Pregnant women are likely to experience some of the first signs of gingivitis, including: gum redness, inflammation, bleeding during brushing, and tooth movement. Fortunately, proper oral hygiene, such as, brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing between your teeth, as well as, visiting your dentist for a professional dental cleaning will usually allow for resolution of the gingivitis within three to six months after you have your baby. Nip gum disease before it progresses!

Pregnancy Oral Tumors: Occurring in roughly 10% of pregnant women, painless red or purple benign tumors appear during pregnancy, but go away following delivery.  If these tumors become painful, bleed excessively or interfere with eating, dentists can remove them easily.

Gingival Enlargement: Enlarged gums are another condition that a very small number of pregnant women contend with.  In this case, excessive gums can be trimmed away in a virtually painless way with a laser.

If you are interested in general dentistry or cosmetic dentistry, contact Dr. Mark Sweeney, an Austin Texas cosmetic dentist, for a consultation at 512-380-1300.