All the hormonal changes that a woman will experience throughout her life (puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, lactation, hormone intake or menopause) will influence the health of her gums. It is precisely during pregnancy when the greatest physiological hormonal changes occur in a woman's life, and one of the areas of the body most affected by these changes is the mouth. Do you want to know which are the main periodontal problems of women in pregnancy? We tell you!
The main effect observed is an increase in gingival inflammation and a worsening of periodontal health without any change in the amount of bacterial plaque present. We can differentiate three gingival pathologies that can appear during pregnancy:
- Gingivitis of pregnancy
It manifests itself with inflammation of the gums, bleeding when brushing or spontaneously, and sometimes with pain, sensitivity and mobility of the teeth. This affects between 36% and 100% of pregnant women and depends on the presence of bacterial plaque. In pregnant women with excellent plaque control, its incidence is practically nil. Fortunately, it will be solved after pregnancy and with good oral hygiene.
- Granuloma gravidarum or epulis of pregnancy
It is identified by a localized thickening of the gum that can be painful and easy to bleed. It is normally located in the anterior teeth and affects only 0.2- 9.6% of pregnant women. Most cases will need to be removed surgically because it is uncomfortable and very unsightly, but waiting after pregnancy is advised.
- Evolution of an existing gum disease before pregnancy
50% of pregnant women with periodontitis develop a progressive worsening of the disease during pregnancy and also during lactation.
All these problems will need treatment, and more if they appear in the first months of pregnancy. There is no risk of a pregnant woman receiving periodontal treatment, neither for her nor for the fetus, as long as it is carried out after the first 14-16 weeks.
The treatment will consist of a strict control of the bacterial plaque and elimination of the calculus or tartar by means of scrapes or curettage. Sometimes it will be necessary to use local anesthesia and even administer an oral antibiotic.
We will also advise correct daily oral hygiene with a manual or electric brush, silk thread and / or interdental brushes and specific mouthwashes to care for the gums based on triclosan, essential oils or chlorhexidine.
It has also been shown that the presence of periodontal disease can have serious consequences for both the fetus and the mother, being considered a risk factor for premature delivery and low birth weight.
Gum infection is a route for bacteria to enter the blood that can affect the uterine cavity and, therefore, the course of pregnancy. Up to 18% of preterm births, almost 1 in 5, are attributable to a poor maternal periodontal status, so it should be considered as an important risk factor.
This means that, before becoming pregnant, we recommend a woman a review of her oral health and, specifically, of her gums.It is important to prevent or treat any alteration that may influence the evolution of pregnancy. The objective is for the woman to reach pregnancy in the best possible oral health conditions.
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