Due to drastic fluctuations in hormone levels, women are at a much higher risk for periodontal disease in the months during and after pregnancy. What is even more alarming is the fact that periodontitis is one of the leading low birth weight causes in Glen Ellyn, IL. This is why Dr. John Borello urges his patients to maintain regular checkups and cleanings during this time.
How does gum disease affect pregnancy?
Recent studies show that the same bacteria responsible for periodontal disease can also lead to pregnancy complications once they enter the bloodstream. In fact, experts have suggested that 18 percent of all premature births can be linked to oral infections. This is because periodontitis creates a great deal of stress which can trigger the body to induce labor much earlier than planned. Additionally, if the mother is suffering from other illnesses, the risk will increase even further.
Another explanation for how periodontitis causes low birth weight centers on the body’s use of nutrients. When illness occurs, the immune system requires extra nutrients to fight off the disease. Normally, these nutrients would be used to nurture the fetus. As a result, the child may be born underweight due to a lack of nourishment while in the womb.
How can I prevent these complications?
Proper oral care is not only important to your health, but your child’s as well. Since pregnancy increases the risk of periodontitis, it is extra important to brush and floss on a daily basis. Eating healthy and getting plenty of rest will also help your body fight off infection. Finally, you should maintain professional cleanings and exams as recommended during pregnancy to keep your mouth clean and to address any signs of periodontal disease.
Proper oral care is critical during pregnancy. For more information on periodontitis and other low birth weight causes in Glen Ellyn, IL, contact Dr. Borello and schedule your consultation today!