According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), dental and mouth health during pregnancy is an important pregnancy outcome. A new report from the AAP claims poor periodontal health may be at increased risk of premature delivery or having a low birth weight baby. These potential outcomes are supported by the European Federation of Periodontology.

Dental health has previously been associated with cardiovascular health with a parallel correlation between poor dental health and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but heart disease may not be the only issue at hand. For pregnant women, periodontal disease – a chronic condition that causes inflamed gums and tooth loss – may also be cause for concern in terms of fetal and pregnancy health. 

Of specific concern to obstetricians and pediatricians is the increased risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. Infants born early and/or of low birth weight may be at increased risk of delayed development from both a motor and physical perspective. These delays can lead to life-long health issues, hearing loss, vision loss, and digestive problems. 

Regular trips to the dentist every six months before, during and after pregnancy are critical for all women in their child-bearing years. It is also important to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss regularly. If you have any concerns about your dental health between visits, contact your dentist for a comprehensive exam to rule out periodontal disease and other conditions that could impact your pregnancy and fetal health. 

Source: American Academy of Periodontology

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