During pregnancy, a woman's oral health can affect her health and the health of the baby. Infections and inflammation in the mouth have been linked to increased risk of developing preeclampsia, premature birth, and having a baby with lower than normal birth weight.
Gum disease affects most people at some time during their life. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and is caused by build-up of plaque between the tooth and the gum. Bleeding when brushing teeth or swelling of the gum can be signs of gingivitis. If it’s not treated, gingivitis can lead to an advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. This is when a pocket forms between the tooth and the gum where bacteria can grow and cause inflammation.
If you are trying for a baby it’s a good idea to have a check-up with your dentist to make sure you don’t have signs of gum disease. And, if there are signs of gum disease, your dentist can advise you about the best way to treat it.
Here are some tips for avoiding gum disease:
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fish and wholegrains
- Avoid saturated fats in your diet
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks, or limit them to meal times
- Brush your teeth and gums twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste
- Visit a dentist or other oral health professional regularly
- Drink plenty of fluoridated tap water
- Avoid smoking.
- Daalderop LA, Wieland BV, Tomsin K, Reyes L, Kramer BW, Vanterpool SF and Been JV. Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy Outcomes: Overview of Systematic Reviews. JDR Clinical & Translational Research 2017; 3:10-27.
- Hartnett E, Haber J, Krainovich-Miller B, Bella A, Vasilyeva A and Lange Kessler J. Oral Health in Pregnancy. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing 2016; 45:565-573.
- Dental Health Services Victoria, https://www.dhsv.org.au/dental-health/teeth-tips-and-facts/periodontitis
Page created on: 26/10/2018 | Last updated: 30/05/2021