Low Weight Births Found to Occur More in Women with Gum Disease

Low Weight Births Found to Occur More in Women with Gum Disease

139533182If you are a woman either contemplating a pregnancy or currently pregnant, you should know that periodontal gum disease has been shown to increase the chances of having a pre-mature and/or low weight birth. It has also been found that hormonal changes in women, such as occur during pregnancy, can make women more prone to contracting and escalating periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease, or periodontitis, is a disease of the gums and supportive tissues of the teeth. Periodontitis causes the tissue to shrink and pull away from the teeth, exposing the underlying foundational bone to bacteria. If not treated, periodontal disease will damage the jawbone and cause teeth to loosen and come out.
During hormonal changes, women experience fluctuations in their chemistry that often make their gums more sensitive and susceptible to bacterial invasion. If good oral health isn’t pursued, especially prior to and during pregnancy, these bacteria can enter the bloodstream and infect the reproductive system, including the womb and its fetus. The main contributing factor identified through research is that bacteria entering the reproductive system can cause genitourinary tract infection which triggers a rapid increase in labor-inducing biological fluids which can cause premature delivery. Bacteria associated with periodontal disease have been identified as a source of genitourinary tract infection and, thus, to premature and low weight births.
There are approximately 250,000 babies born prematurely in the United States that weigh less than 5.5 pounds. It has been suggested through studies that as many as 18 percent of that number are due to periodontal infection. It has also been suggested by doctors that a 50 percent decrease in preterm and low birth weight children, as well as Chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis and other reproductive tract infections, can be achieved by simply following good oral health practices.
It is, therefore, extremely important for women to stick to a consistent regiment of good oral health practices while going through pregnancy. However, practicing good oral hygiene is important all the time, not only during times of pregnancy since bacteria which grow in the mouth have also been linked to numerous other health issues, many of which are quite serious.
Dentists recommend forming a habit of good oral hygiene through the twice daily brushing of teeth and flossing beforehand to remove plaque and food items stuck between teeth. Two or more dental maintenance visits are also recommended so that dental problems can be avoided or detected and treated early.
Want to see all the other health issues that can stem from not taking care of your teeth? Check out our interactive dental resource! It’ll change the way you think about oral health!

This article is part of our blog series, “The Deadly Consequences of Poor Dental Care

Poor Dental Care Consequences
Reference:
Yiorgos A. Bobetsis, DDS, PhD, Silvana P. Barros, DDS, PhD and Steven Offenbacher, DDS, PhD, MMSc. “Exploring the relationship between periodontal disease and pregnancy complications.” The Journal of the American Dental Association (October 2006) 137, 7S-13S





Keeping Our Patients Safe and Healthy at John R. Carson D.D.S., P.C.

Dear Patients,

As all of you know, our vision here at John R. Carson D.D.S., P.C. is to partner with patients to achieve the best for their long-term oral and overall health. We are honored to serve you. In light of current coronavirus/COVID-19 concerns affecting the world and an order from the Arizona Governor we, like all dental offices in Arizona, are closed for anything other than dental emergencies until April 3rd.

If you have a dental emergency, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are committed now and always to your needs.

The offices of John R. Carson D.D.S., P.C. continues to employ the most up-to-date infection control procedures and our record proves that they work really well! Rest assured that the infection control and standard precautions that we always employed are excellent deterrents to COVID-19 and every other virus. In addition to the routine steps we take, we are being even more vigilant of all the areas in the office. Surfaces in the reception area, front desk area, consultation area and restroom, which would normally be cleaned and disinfected daily, are now being disinfected throughout the day. Hand sanitizer is readily available in all areas of the practice for your use.

During this confusing and stressful time, staying healthy helps you fight off any challenge! Know that we take our role as your healthcare partner very seriously and are here to help! For the latest information and guidance, please refer to the CDC’s COVID-19 situation webpage, the Department of Public Health website, or ADA.

Stay safe and healthy—we look forward to seeing you soon.