Pregnant women should take particular care to maintain good oral health. Not only do hormonal changes put pregnant women at increased risk for gum disease, but this gum disease can pose serious health risks for the developing baby. Some of these risks include pre-term birth and low-birth weight, which has been associated with developmental issues, such as delayed motor skills and social growth.
Gum (periodontal) disease is characterized by inflammation of the gums, caused by the accumulation of bacteria, plaque and tarter. Gums that are red, swollen or bleeding, may be showing early signs of periodontal disease. Regular brushing and flossing, may not be enough to prevent these gum issues from occurring. Pregnant women are recommended to visit a dental professional for a cleaning and a comprehensive periodontal evaluation during the early stages of their pregnancy, to help ensure a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.