Periodontitis and Pregnancy

"The gingivitis of pregnancy is an inflammation of the gums with redness, pain and easy bleeding. 60 to 75% of women experiment this condition in the period between the third and eighth month of pregnancy and it usually disappears after childbirth. If the gingivitis is not controlled, it can lead to a more serious disease called periodontitis, in which the tissues around the teeth are inflamed, there can be suppuration and in the most severe cases the bone is destroyed and the teeth are loosened ".</div>

Another condition that can appear during pregnancy is the epulis of pregnancy, a small reddish benign tumor that grows on the gum at the junction of two teeth and although it is very uncomfortable for the patient does not involve any risk to the baby. Epulis usually disappears after the pregnancy ends, but in some cases it requires surgery.

The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, such as increased levels of estrogen and progesterone, promote the dilation of blood vessels, increases blood flow in the gums and reduce the immune response, allowing the accumulation of bacterial plaque in the teeth increasing gum vulnerability.

On the other hand, periodontal infection induces an increase in the concentration of prostaglandins and other substances in the amniotic fluid, which can trigger labor and are a risk factor for premature birth, low birth weight and preeclampsia.

A study conducted by Dr. Kjersti Asgaard, an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine, which was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, revealed that the placenta is not free of bacteria as previously believed. On the contrary, the sac in which the baby grows harbors microorganisms that are beneficial for the newborn. However, when there is a periodontal infection, the bacteria from the gums can reach the placenta to advance the delivery.

The best way to prevent and treat gingivitis is to maintain good oral hygiene that eliminates bacterial plaque. This is achieved by the proper teeth brushing and the use of dental floss. Warm water rinses with salt are also recommended. Vitamin C strengthens the gums and reduces the risk of bleeding and calcium helps keep teeth healthy and strong. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, just like cigarettes. Finally, it is very important to visit the dentist to perform a professional dental cleaning, if necessary, a deep gums cleaning.