Ask a Complete Health Dentist: Can Gum Disease Cause Low Birth Weight?

Ask a Complete Health Dentist: Can Gum Disease Cause Low Birth Weight?

September 2, 2021

A complete health dentist wants everyone to know that gum disease can lead to issues with pregnancy like low birth weight or premature birth. Gum disease is one of the most common issues that dentists deal with along with tooth decay. It is an infection of the gums that has been linked to a variety of health issues and it causes permanent damage to bone and gum tissues in the mouth.

A complete health dentist says that gum disease occurs when bacteria in plaque and tartar make their way under the gums. As a result, the immune tries to combat the infection with inflammation. The condition is called gingivitis and its symptoms include sore and red gum tissues.

Gingivitis is a minor oral issue that can be reversed in its early stages. Good oral hygiene and regular teeth cleanings are typically enough to get rid of the infection. When gingivitis is left untreated, it will progress to periodontal disease, which is an irreversible chronic condition. Women who are pregnant should be particularly careful when dealing with gum disease since it can lead to complications with their pregnancy.

A complete health dentist explores how gum disease affects pregnancies

Gum disease is one of those things most pregnant women will have to deal with. About 75% of pregnant women will develop gingivitis at some point during their pregnancy. This can be attributed to hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy and diabetes. The older the patient is, the more likely she is to develop gum disease.

It is not clear why gum disease increases the risk of low birth rate, but research from complete health dentists indicate that mothers with gum disease are more likely to have a child with a low birth rate.

A child that is born weighing lower than 5.5 pounds has an increased risk of slower emotional, social and physical development throughout their life. The same applies to premature babies, and they might also develop issues with their digestive system, respiratory system and vision.

Preventing gum disease

Good oral hygiene becomes even more important when a woman is pregnant. Many women experience cravings during pregnancy and that can provide oral bacteria with all the sugar they need to wreak havoc in the mouth. Because of the oral-systemic connection, it can be helpful to see a complete health dentist at least once during the pregnancy.

If possible, pregnant women should also restrict their cravings to teeth-friendly foods and snacks. Regular teeth cleanings can help to fight off gingivitis during its early stages. A dentist can also provide prescription-grade mouthwash that helps to prevent gum disease.

Additionally, drinking lots of water during the day can help to keep teeth free of plaque and bacteria that lead to gum disease. Rinsing the mouth with water is also an easy way to protect teeth after sugary snacks. Just rinse the water vigorously around the mouth for 30 seconds as if it was mouthwash and spit it out.

We can help to keep gum disease under control

Do not let gum disease put your baby’s development at risk. Call or visit our Minnetonka clinic to learn more about how our complete health dentist can help to protect your gums during pregnancy.

Request an appointment here: or call Holger Dental Group at (952) 777-7006 for an appointment in our Minnetonka office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Complete Health Dentistry in Minnetonka, MN.

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