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When pregnant it is highly recommended to keep the oral cavity constantly under control because the probability of developing pathologies that could hinder both mother and child increases. Several studies have found an increase of several stomatologic diseases during the nine months of expecting.
This increase is caused above all by an intensification in blood circulation that, though it is useful to the development of the fetus, can cause greater vasodilation leading to swelling and inflammation of the mother’s gums. Sudden hormonal changes, especially the increase of progestogens, are also connected to these problems. This is because they influence the immune system, weakening it, making women more predisposed to periodontitis or gingivitis, diseases that can lead to tooth mobility and tooth loss. A neglected bacterial infection can in fact cause a bone reabsorption that compromises dental stability.
Furthermore, several studies have connected the presence of periodontal inflammation in the mother’s oral cavity to the birth of premature or underweight babies. Research in this field has connected periodontal problems during pregnancy with the presence of antigens of the bacteria Porphyromonas Gingivalis in the placenta. This bacterium, normally connected with periodontal infections, is capable of penetrating the placenta and generating toxins inside the amniotic barrier, causing inflammations and unexpected delivery. Periodontal pathologies have been also connected to female infertility by a study carried out in Australia in 2011.
In some cases periodontitis and gingivitis in pregnancy can lead to pregnancy epulis, a hyperplasia of the gingiva tissue that can be eliminated with surgery or laser. Pregnancy, besides threatening the health of the periodontium, can also jeopardize the teeth increasing the possilbity of cavities.
Should the expecting mothers begin to have sensitive teeth and bleeding gums (even spontaneous), dentists recommend them not underestimate these symptoms, which could be due to more serious diseases, such as periodontitis. Always keep in mind that prevention is better than cure, expecting mothers should undergo frequent dental check-ups to detect any early signs of dental or gingival diseases.
A particularly important preventive role is always held by oral hygiene, both at home and professional. Your dentist or hygienist, during dental cleaning sessions, will eliminate bacterial dental plaque, the main cause of gingivitis, and will instruct you on how to carry out a correct daily cleaning at home.
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