Pregnancy and Oral Health: What’s the Connection?

pregnant-bellyMuch has been written about how your oral health can influence your overall health, including the occurrence or severity of certain health issues like diabetes, dementia, and cardiovascular problems. Yet not many women of childbearing age are aware that the state of a person’s teeth and mouth can impact pregnancy and childbirth, as well.

A study by researchers at Case Western University found the presence of Fusobacterium nucleatum in the lungs and stomach of a stillborn baby during a postmortem microbial study. Fusobacterium nucleatum is oral bacteria commonly found in individuals with gum disease.

Several studies have also shown that gum disease is a potential risk factor for premature births. This may have to do with how certain molecular signals from the inflamed gums are released into the mother’s bloodstream and travel to the fetus via the placenta.

The occurrence of pregnancy tumors in gum tissues, also known as pyogenic granuloma, is another reason for pregnant women to strictly adhere to their regular dental appointments. Gum tumors in pregnancy are characteristically red, swollen, and may bleed easily. Although the lumps may disappear after childbirth, regular dental checkups are still a must.

Are you currently pregnant or planning to conceive soon? Get in touch with the Peters Dental Associates team by calling 281-486-8061 to schedule an appointment today!

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