Premature Birth Due to Gum Disease

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healthy teeth pregnancyGum 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?

    Gum 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.



    “I have never been to a dentist office that is sooo welcoming. I am not a fan of going to the dentist at all but when my sister recommended to try them, my thoughts about the dentist completely changed. This dentist office is very professional and do really care about the patient. I was amazed at the follow up phone call, email, and text! I highly recommend this dentist office to anyone and everyone.”

    Jill S. from West Babylon


    “Babylon Dental is the best! They are very flexible with their appointments and I am always greeted with a smile. I never have to wait very long once I am in the office and everyone is very professional. A truly great dental practice!”

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    “This whole practice is wonderful!!! EVERYONE!! I used to panic going to the dentist, but this office made me finally do the right thing and take care of my teeth. Never thought I’d like going to the dentist… Thanks to all of the dentists and everyone who works there…”

    Diane W. from West Islip


    “I guess I could write this about every visit we’ve had for the past 25 years or so. Every visit we have, we’re treated like family…the good ones. Our options are always explained so we understand them & nothing is ever pushed on us. Thank you to everyone there.”

    Robert U. from Lindenhurst


    “I always LOVE my experience at Babylon Dental! Everybody is so kind, from the receptionist at the front to the billing staff on the way out. The dentists are thorough, friendly, and very attentive. The dental assistants are so knowledgeable and warm! This is the ONLY dentist I would ever consider going to. Keep up the great work! I look forward to seeing you all again!”

    Erin M. from West Babylon


    “This is the kindest, most compassionate office I have ever been to. Every person on staff is polite and courteous; not something you see too often these days. I ‘hated’ going to the dentist so much that I would only go when I had a problem. Since I started using Babylon Dental about 8 years ago, I go 2 to 3 times a year for a cleaning and just to make sure everything’s ok. I recommend this practice to everyone I know!”

    Nancie P. from West Babylon


    “Everything went very well. The procedure was almost painless, and since it was my first cavity filling, I was surprised at how easy it was. Everyone was very nice and willing to answer any questions I had.”

    Andrew L. from West Islip


    “The staff at Babylon Dental Care are by far the most professional people I’ve encountered. I was greeted with a smile from the minute I walked in and that continued throughout my entire visit. The office from the waiting room to the exam room were immaculate. Everything that was done during my visit was explained to me in detail which helps for someone with a fear of the dentist. The best experience I’ve ever had at a dental office.””

    Nickesha J. from Lindenhurst


    “If you have a fear of the dentist, Babylon Dental Care is the place for you. I always have an amazing experience when I visit Babylon Dental Care and I used to be someone who was very afraid of the dentist. I highly recommend this dental practice for all of your dental needs. Fantastic group!”

    Robert P. from Freeport


    “Who knew! I have always been afraid of the dentist because of a bad experience 25 years ago. This office renewed my comfort, and gave me the confidence to move forward and take care of dental work that should have been done years ago. The staff doctors and office personnel were so caring and receptive to my fear.”

    Loretta P. from Bay Shore


    “I have been a patient of Babylon Dental since Dr. Brown’s Office was originally in TSS shopping Center- perhaps 26 years now? I am always pleased with the high quality, professional care that I receive. I would not go anywhere else! Also, Maritza is a wonderful dental hygienist!”

    Peter G. from Bating Hollow


    “As a new patient, I was impressed by each staff member’s level of professionalism, friendliness, and knowledge. Dr. Brown gave me a thorough explanation of what was causing my dental issues, and how they could be fixed. I left feeling confident that I was in really good hands.”

    Alexandra H. from Lindenhurst


    “As always, Dr. Brown made my experience most memorable! I look forward to coming, believe it or not.”

    Marie D. from Babylon


    “First the reception area was beautifully decorated. Your office runs very smoothly and efficiently, plus the staff are professional, friendly and great at what they do. Best run office I’ve ever seen.”

    Michael C. from North Babylon


    “Amazing. I am deathly afraid, and have been hurt by many dentists. But Melody, who did my x-rays and cleaning, was great. I was amazed how much they actually CARED about how I felt and was doing. Dr. Brown who read my x-rays sat and just talked To me not at me for a good 15/20 minutes. Didn't suggest root canals, posts n crowns, yell at me about my missing back teeth. He just talked to me about what is currently going on and his best suggestions to care for it, which didn't include root canals, extraction etc. Therefore I would highly recommend them. And thank you for a really positive experience”

    Pat M from Patchogue


    “From the call center ( Jo ) to the front desk ( Jennifer) and of course Dr. Peck , highly recommended. They are professional and truly concerned about the patient's experience”

    Boni M from Babylon


    “I am not one to write reviews but I always have such a pleasant experience at this office, so I felt the need to share. The staff is friendly, the wait is short, it's easy to get appointments (especially because of their long hours) and it's super clean. Thank you, Babylon Dental Care!”

    Jacqueline C from Sayville


    “Everyone is always nice and sooooo patient. I would highly recommend this office to anyone that has a fear of going to the dentist. They also do wonderful community outreach! Very happy with the work they do!”

    Andrea B from West Babylon


    “The staff is so wonderful! Best experience I’ve ever had a dentist office by far. They offer the cutest “comfort bar” with tons of options to make you feel right at home. Not many people can say that they actually enjoyed their time at the dentist, but I 100% can!! Looking forward to coming back for my next cleaning!”

    Rachael L from Patchogue