Recent research from Oral Health & Preventative Dentistry suggests that gingivitis treatment in pregnant patients can reduce the risk of preterm births and increase birth weights. Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal disease in which an infection causes inflammation in the gum tissue. This inflammation can trigger the body’s inflammatory response, which may impact pregnancy.
Though pregnant individuals have many medical concerns on their radars, they should pay attention to their gum health and visit their dentists regularly for routine periodontal screenings. Dr. Drew Shulman, a dentist serving patients in Northeast Philadelphia, discusses signs of gingivitis as well as how dentists can eradicate this infection promptly.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Many patients may recognize that they have contracted this infection as they notice bleeding, swelling, or soreness in their gums.
However, not every patient with gum disease will experience these visible symptoms. This is why visiting your dentist for routine check-ups is so important to your oral health. As evidenced by the impact of gum inflammation on pregnancy, it is crucial to your overall well-being too. For optimal preventative dental care, you should schedule these appointments at least every six months.
Your dentist can evaluate your gum health during these appointments and offer treatment before gingivitis can progress. If the infection reaches the tooth root and jawbone, you may experience irreversible structural damage. Gum disease will not resolve on its own, so you will need to visit your dentist to eradicate the infection.
Treating and Preventing Periodontal Disease
Diagnosing gingivitis promptly will be easier to treat than a more advanced case of gum disease. If your dentist notices an infection in your gums, they will recommend treatment right away.
They will begin by clearing excess bacteria and plaque from your smile, including deep in the gum pockets. The targeted cleaning method is known as scaling and root planing. If the infection persists, they may recommend more invasive and extensive periodontal therapy, which will entail removing damaged gum tissue.
Patients who are more prone to periodontal problems, including pregnant individuals, may need to take precautionary measures to avoid this infection. To balance bacteria in your mouth, your dentist may recommend that you utilize an antibacterial mouthwash at home. This will lower your risk of contracting gum disease and alleviate any uncomfortable periodontal symptoms.