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Pregnancy, hormones and your baby's health.

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:31pm
Congratulations! You or someone you know is having a baby. You probably know that pregnancy causes hormones to increase. What you may not know is that pregnancy causes the risk of gingivitis (the mildest form of periodontal disease) to increase.

The American Academy of Periodontology reports that surges of estrogen and progesterone can increase inflammation in the gums of pregnant women in the second or third month of their pregnancies, and can become more severe through the eighth month.

Periodontal monitoring should be part of prenatal care. If a pregnant woman has red, puffy, tender, or bleeding gums, she should see her dental professional immediately. Oral microbes can cross the placental barrier and expose the fetus to infection causing pre-term, low-birth weight babies.

1. Women planning to become pregnant should have a periodontal evaluation.

2. Pregnant women with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby born too early and too small.

3. All pregnant women should see their dentist as soon as they start noticing gum problems.

4. Acid from vomiting due to morning sickness can erode a woman's front teeth.

What I know for sure is that it's all connected.


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