happy pregnant woman

Pregnancy is a time when a woman’s body undergoes numerous changes, making healthcare, including oral health, more important than ever. At Tolland Hill Family Dental, we focus on educating expectant mothers about the connection between oral health and pregnancy outcomes, particularly the link between untreated gum disease and the risk of premature birth.

Understanding Gum Disease During Pregnancy

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that can affect the bone structure that supports your teeth. In pregnant women, hormonal changes can make the gums more susceptible to plaque, leading to gum disease. This condition is characterized by swollen, tender, or bleeding gums.

The Link to Premature Birth

Research has shown a correlation between untreated gum disease in pregnant women and the risk of premature birth. Inflammation and infection in the gums can potentially increase inflammation throughout the body, which is believed to contribute to early labor.

  • Biological Mechanism: The biological mechanism behind this link is thought to be the release of certain chemicals, known as prostaglandins, which are found in higher levels in the mouth during gum disease. Prostaglandins play a role in labor and, when elevated, could trigger premature birth.
  • Infection Spread: Additionally, the bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to the uterus, triggering inflammatory responses that can lead to complications such as premature birth.

Statistics and Studies

Several studies support the connection between gum disease and premature birth. For instance, research has suggested that women with gum disease are up to three times more likely to give birth prematurely than those without gum disease. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene and receiving regular dental care during pregnancy.

Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease During Pregnancy

At Tolland Hill Family Dental, we advocate for preventive care and early treatment of gum disease, especially for expectant mothers. Our recommendations include:

  • Regular Dental Checkups: Regular checkups during pregnancy are vital. Inform your dentist about your pregnancy so they can tailor your dental care accordingly.
  • Good Oral Hygiene: Maintain good oral hygiene practices, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash.
  • Healthy Diet: A balanced diet is important for gum health. Avoid sugary snacks and drinks, which can contribute to gum disease.
  • Prompt Treatment: If you have signs of gum disease, seek treatment immediately. The earlier gum disease is treated, the lower the risk of complications.

Consultation and Support from a Tolland Dentist

Pregnant women should not hesitate to discuss any concerns about gum disease with their dentist. At Tolland Hill Family Dental, we provide comprehensive care and support to expectant mothers, ensuring they receive the best possible advice and treatment to maintain their oral health during pregnancy.

In conclusion, the connection between untreated gum disease and the risk of premature birth is a significant concern for pregnant women. This highlights the importance of regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene practices during pregnancy. By understanding and addressing this risk, expectant mothers can take proactive steps to safeguard their health and the health of their babies. At Tolland Hill Family Dental, we are committed to supporting our patients through every stage of life, including the precious journey of pregnancy.

Posted on behalf of Tolland Hill Family Dental

12 Goose Ln
Tolland, CT 06084

Phone: (860) 875-6269

Formerly Dr. Frederick M. Daniels Dental Office
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What Our Patients Say

Never had I had so much attention paid to my whole mouth health. Performed mouth cancer checks and measured gum gaps (didn't know this was a thing). A lot of time with doctor, not just the hygienist. Explained everything they were doing and why.
Daniel Keener
The team at this office was very kind, understanding, patient and persistent in working with my child. She is highly anxious at the dentist and they took their time to help her through the experience. Would highly recommend them to others!
Jessica St. Louis

Tolland Hill Family Dental


12 Goose Ln
Tolland, CT 06084

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday: 8:00AM-5:00PM

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