How Gum Disease Can Impact Pregnancy

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When it comes to protecting the long-term health of our patients, you can count on your bio dentist in Denver at McGinty Dental Group to always provide the latest new patients need to maintain and improve not only their oral health but their overall health as well.

Helping to protect your health means keeping you aware of how your oral health impacts your body as a whole. The impact your oral health has on your body can come in surprising ways, including increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Now a new study provides further evidence that suggests poor oral health may impact pregnancy.

According to researchers, women who are pregnant have a higher risk of suffering from moderate to severe gingivitis and may need to receive regular dental care in order to lower their risk of suffering an adverse pregnancy outcome.

Researchers also determined that gingivitis becomes fairly stable in the late first and second trimester. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and recently presented at the International Association for Dental Research’s meeting in Seoul, South Korea.

Prevalence of Gingivitis

Estimates have ranged that fewer than 40 percent to nearly 80 percent of pregnant women suffer from gingivitis. Given the prevalence of the disease, researchers attempted to focus on the need for improved oral health care during pregnancy.

The researchers attempted to evaluate the impact, if any, of gestational age, study site, and demographic factors on first and second-trimester pregnancy gingivitis. Working with oral health professionals, researchers successfully identified over 600 pregnant women (between 8 to 24 weeks) with at least 30 gingivitis bleeding sites. The examiners also measured whole-mouth gingivitis scores at up to 168 sites using a four-point index.

Researchers discovered that maternal age and study site were significant factors in gingival bleeding during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, but that ethnicity and gestational age were not. Researchers also discovered that younger women overall had higher measured rates of inflammation caused by gingivitis.

The findings of this study mark a change to some preconceived notions regarding gingivitis related inflammation throughout the course of pregnancy. Previously, oral health experts believed that inflammation increases progressively throughout pregnancy and returns to normal once a woman has delivered. However, the results of this study discovered that the severity of pregnancy gingivitis was the same for women 8 weeks after delivery as it was after 24 weeks. These results suggest that a woman’s oral health does not return to normal once the have completed their pregnancy.

Dangers of Gum Disease

When left unchecked, research has shown that gum disease can play a negative role in pregnancy. From low birth weight to early delivery to the potential of development issues, the impact of gum disease shouldn’t be taken lightly.

However, according to this latest study, a woman’s individual oral and overall health can face increased risks even after pregnancy has concluded.

Just as with pregnancy, uncontrolled gum disease can also present serious problems to a woman’s long-term oral and overall health. Studies have shown that gum disease increases the risk for not only tooth decay, gum recession, and permanent tooth loss, but also for a range of chronic illnesses such as dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Fortunately, your bio dentist in Denver at McGinty Dental Group has the skill and knowledge needed to protect the health of all of our patients now and into the future.