Premature Birth Due to Gum Disease

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Gum disease is a common problem in the United States, affecting almost half of adults 30 years of age and older. It causes a range of unpleasant symptoms, including oral pain. Although problems can arise when left untreated, pregnant women are at a greater risk of complications if gum disease develops.

Doctors typically focus on reproductive health during a woman’s pregnancy. However, oral health is just as important.

Researchers have found that expectant mothers with gum disease could suffer various complications, including premature birth. Proper dental and gum care is critical while pregnant to ensure the healthy development of your baby. Call the Babylon gum disease treatment experts of Babylon Dental Care today to schedule a checkup.

Table Of Contents

    What Is Gum Disease?

    healthy teeth pregnancyGum disease, also referred to as periodontitis, is an infection of a person’s gums. It causes damage to soft tissue and the bones supporting the teeth. Without immediate treatment, loosened teeth and tooth loss can occur.

    The most common symptoms of gum disease include:

    • Bad breath
    • Puffy or swollen gums
    • Pus between the gums and teeth
    • Spaces forming between teeth
    • Pain while chewing food
    • Purplish, dusky red, or bright red gums
    • Bleeding when flossing or brushing teeth
    • Bleeding gums
    • Loose teeth or tooth loss
    • Receding gums
    • Changes in how the teeth line up while biting
    • Tender gums to the touch

    Common risk factors of gum disease include more than just hormonal changes during pregnancy. Other risk factors are:

    • Genetics
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Drug and alcohol use
    • Vitamin C deficiency
    • Medical conditions affecting the body’s immune system, such as HIV and leukemia
    • Obesity
    • Gingivitis
    • Some diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis

    Although gum disease is prevalent among adults, it’s entirely preventable with good oral hygiene. It’s particularly vital to take good care of your teeth and gums if you’re pregnant. Periodontitis could lead to preterm labor, increasing your baby’s risk of severe medical issues and even death.

    How Pregnancy Affects Oral Health

    The levels of the progesterone hormone increase significantly while pregnant. Expectant mothers are more susceptible to bacterial plaque forming on the gums and teeth, resulting in gingivitis. It typically develops between two and eight months of pregnancy, reaching its peak during the third trimester.

    Besides increasing hormones, eating junk food and skimping on proper dental care can also contribute to a build-up of plaque.

    When you’re pregnant, you can experience a range of unpleasant symptoms. You might not have the energy to brush your teeth every night before going to bed. Although skipping your oral hygiene routine might not seem like much of an issue, it could cause life-threatening complications for your baby.

    Studies Linking Premature Birth and Gum Disease

    Preterm birth happens when a baby is born before the mother completes 37 weeks of pregnancy.

    According to multiple studies, pregnant women are at an increased risk of premature birth from developing periodontitis. One particular study found that women who gave birth prematurely were 45% more likely to have gum disease than women who carried their babies to term.

    Researchers believe bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and enter the placenta. This leads to inflammation and affects the amniotic sac, causing it to rupture early.

    Babies born prematurely are at an increased risk of complications, including:

    • Heart defects
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Poorly developed respiratory system
    • Bleeding in the brain
    • Hypoglycemia
    • Psychological issues
    • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Hearing and vision problems
    • Weakened immune system
    • Anemia
    • Delays in cognitive or behavioral development
    • Chronic health issues
    • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

    You must make an appointment with your dentist if you experience any symptoms of gum disease to avoid pregnancy complications down the road.

    Treating Gum Disease in Pregnant Women

    If caught early, you can treat gingivitis and gum disease.

    The most common pregnancy gum disease treatments include:

    • Deep cleaning to rid your teeth of plaque build-up
    • Oral antibiotics to fight the infection
    • Prescription mouth rinse to manage the symptoms
    • Surgery to repair the gums if other treatment methods don’t work

    Let your dentist know you’re pregnant so that they can determine an appropriate treatment plan. Some periodontitis treatments are not recommended for pregnant women.

    Preventing Gum Disease During Pregnancy

    brushing teeth pregnantFortunately, preventing gum disease is as easy as practicing good oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. Additionally, flossing after brushing can rid your teeth of trapped food and bacteria.

    During early pregnancy, you might feel constant nausea and not have much of an appetite. However, you should try to follow a well-balanced diet. Eating healthy food, such as vegetables and fruit, is a must. Be sure to stay away from anything that can attack your gums and teeth, such as candy, soda, and sugar. If you’re a smoker, you should quit once you discover that you’re pregnant. This protects not only your teeth but also the developing fetus.

    Everyone should visit their dentists twice a year. You should follow this schedule even when you’re pregnant. Common preventative dental care includes:

    You can safely undergo X-rays while pregnant. Inform your dentist so they can protect your abdomen while performing this test. If you’re experiencing any mouth pain or other issues, let them know so they can check for signs of gingivitis or gum disease. They can begin treatments immediately to prevent minor problems from turning into a serious condition.

    Contact Babylon Dental Care

    At Babylon Dental Care, we have a highly trained and experienced team to provide the services you need to maintain good oral health. You should prioritize your dental hygiene while pregnant to keep your baby safe and prevent complications that could put them at risk.

    When you meet us for the first time, we can discuss your needs and develop a preventative plan to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy. If you have already developed gum disease, we can create a plan to manage symptoms and prevent further damage from occurring.

    You can depend on your dental team from Babylon Dental Care to keep your baby safe while performing surgery and other necessary treatment. We care about the health of our patients as well as the babies they’re carrying.

    If you’re an expectant mother experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, do not hesitate to call Babylon Dental Care at (631) 983-6665 or reach out to us online today.

    We also have dental care packages and payment plans available, including offers for new patients.



    “Amazing experience getting my teeth cleaned at Babylon Dental Care. Melody is fantastic and provided a top-notch painless service. Highly recommend.”

    Ron S


    “Absolutely incredible team. From the very moment you walk in you're greeted with kindness and people who want to help you. When I was asked how everything was I literally told them I was speechless. Having had terrible experiences as a kid with dentistry I wasn't sure if the nice things I've heard and read would live up to my expectation. I'm so glad they met them, and even went above and beyond what I had imagined. They offered me several options (a comfort menu) for things I could ask for to help make the time go by easier and with less anxiety.. all for free! If you have been holding off due to how long it's been and how anxious you might be then take this as your sign to look into coming here. I really truly am so glad I overcame my fear and made my appointment, they are just *that* good”

    Brian K


    “Really love this office, they are so kind and non judge mental, I have dealt with so many judge mental dental offices and I have felt totally at ease here. Truly grateful to find them. Dr David is so gentle and for the first time ever I don’t have an anxiety attack coming in to the dentist. The ladies in the front are a pleasure as well, Beth is a breathe of fresh air.”

    Angela P


    “I had my teeth cleaned by Melody and she did an incredible job. She is gentle, and caring. My teeth look and feel amazing! I normally hate going to the dentist but now look forward to my cleanings with Melody and this location! Everyone is this office is so kind and sweet from the moment you walk in.”

    Gillian W


    “This was my first time at this Dental office. I went in for a cleaning and dental exam. The office is Clean and modern. I felt comfortable and welcomed right from the start. My hygienist 'Melody' was great! I feel that she was very thorough, talked me through everything she was doing and made recommendations for improving my routine at home. My dental exam with Dr. Diamond was just as pleasant. I liked that she also took her time and I didn't feel rushed. All-in-all it was a good experience. The entire team at the clinic displayed a high level of professionalism and made me feel comfortable throughout my visit.”

    Brenda S


    “Love this office and all staff! From the front desk, to the hygienist, the dentists and the lovely ladies that check you out, it’s a top notch experience. I trust them 100%!”

    Marian P


    “Dr. David and the entire staff at Babylon Dental Care are amazing! Every single person who works there is so kind compassionate. I’m a very nervous patient and Dr. David and his assistant Amber made me feel so at ease. I highly recommend Babylon Dental Care especially if you’re an anxious patient!”

    Elisabeth D


    “From the moment I walked in it was a great experience. The facility is modern and clean. I was treated extremely well. And I really don't like going to the dentist but I'm actually looking forward to my next visit. Everyone I met was great! Thank you for making me feel comfortable.”

    Tom M


    “Everyone in the Patchogue office are wonderful! Kind, caring, and attentive. I have always hated dentists but I am never anxious to come there. I can honestly say I have NEVER felt this at ease. Thank you all for making this a wonderful experience for me. I won’t ever hesitate to go to the dentist again!”

    Susan G


    “First visit and everyone was so nice and made the transition to a new dentist seamless! Corinn did a great cleaning and explained everything as she was doing it!”

    Kayleigh P


    “I would highly recommend Babylon Dental Care. The Drs and Staff are all very friendly and professional. They take the extra time to explain the procedures which are truly done gently and with care. I saw Dr. Knakal and Dr. Diamond. The lobby is comfortable and the dental work areas are immaculate. Also, I have never had to wait very long before being seen!”

    Regina B


    “First time here, never felt so comfortable at the dentist. Super clean and friendly staff. Corrin and Dr. Brown are absolutely wonderful! Very thorough and knowledgeable.”

    Cara P


    “This is quite possibly the most impressive Dental office I’ve ever seen. All the staff goes above and beyond to make you feel welcome. The office is so gorgeous through out. I loved my hygienist, she was very knowledgeable and very thorough and informative about being proactive with your hygiene habits. Dr Hsu was amazing. I highly recommend him. Very professional and explains everything he’s doing and that you’re comfortable during the visit. I’m really glad I found this office and my new Dentist.”

    Angel W


    “I have been using Babylon Dental Care for almost 10 years. Dr. Brown, Jen, Melody and Michelle are incredible. They are always concerned with the patients well being and health making it a different experience. They treat you like family, not a patient. I use them for dentistry and their silent night therapy. Thank you for taking care of my family. Great job team!”

    Chuck M


    “I've been coming here for about a year and a half. I have always had Francesca and she's great. She's always professional, friendly and honest with me. They have a pretty good system with the walkie-talkies too which makes the process more or less pretty smooth. I also really appreciate that they are transparent up front with cost, not many places are like that in my experiences.”

    Scott A


    “Professional and courteous staff, every time I come here I’m more than satisfied. Dr Wrann & Dr Knakal are exceptionally good. I would highly recommend Babylon Dental!”

    Nick S


    “Very professional staff and the hygienist Melody is amazing. The dentist are very thorough and they explained every little bit of details of your procedure. They make you feel so relaxed and welcoming. I would recommend Babylon Dental Care to anyone.”

    Verona B


    “I recently moved approximately 300 miles away, I continue to make the trip back to Babylon Dental Care. My hygienist Paige could not be kinder, friendlier or professional. I have been having issues with bone loss in my jaws and now it's time for implants. Dr. Knakal has been outstanding. I know I am in the best hands. Everyone I have dealt with at BDC from the receptionists to the checkout personnel are awesome! I will be continuing to make the trip for all my dental care.”

    Pete R


    “Babylon Dental Care is an amazing practice! I had an issue with my teeth and they took me immediately. Their friendly and compassionate staff walked me through each step and in a matter of a week I had that tooth extracted and my flipper ready for every day use! You can’t even tell I have it in! The office is spotless and they even have Netflix! How cool is that! You’re welcomed as soon as you walk in and they made me feel so comfortable. Dr. Golo and Dr. Knakal took such good care of me and I would recommend them to anyone! The office is so convenient and literally across the street from my home so it doesn’t get better than that! Thank you Babylon Dental!”

    Joseph S


    “I've never had such an amazing experience at a dentist. They are so kind, so caring, so friendly, and really make you feel appreciated and not just like a patient number. I am blown away by the care I received here, and will be recommending them to everyone I know!”

    Jessica C


    “I cannot adequately express my appreciation for this practice. Best dental practice ever! Everyone is so kind, caring and respectful. I don't dread going to the dentist anymore. I've had a lot of work done and am extremely pleased. They are very gentle and strive to keep you pain free. Very professional from reception on up. I highly recommend Babylon Dental. Would give them 10 stars if I could!”

    Debra B


    “Had the zoom whitening treatment and all I can say is wow!!”

    Beth L


    “At Babylon Dental Care, “care” is given from arrival to check out. I was anxious; it had been a few years since my last filling. From the moment I walked into the exam room, Karen comforted me. She explained the process, answered my questions and talked with me to keep me calm. Dr. Wrann was excellent! I did not have any pain before, during or after the procedure. So happy! Thank you to a truly great team!”

    Kristina F


    “I went there during covid as my dentist was shut down by the pandemic. They really do everything they can to make you feel good about your experience. Melanie who cleans my teeth as well is wonderful and does a great job everything by the time I leave I don't want to go. Excellent place for dental work. They go above and beyond.”

    Connor L