A study published in Oral Health & Preventative Dentistry suggests that treating gingivitis in pregnant individuals will lower the risk of pre-term births and lead to higher birth weights. Though pregnant patients have many medical concerns to keep an eye on, this research shows that oral health should be a priority as well.
Gingivitis refers to the early stage of gum disease, an infection in the gum tissue. Though common, it can influence the rest of the body because inflamed gums can trigger the body’s inflammatory response. This will affect other medical conditions, including pregnancy.
Gum disease can come with risks to the rest of your health. Knowing more about them can encourage you to seek the preventative care for your gums and the rest of your smile that you need. Read on to discover details about gingivitis, its treatment, and its prevention.
Do I Have Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an early form of infection in the gum tissue. Many people notice redness, soreness, swelling, and bleeding in the gums at this stage of gum disease. But in many cases, people do not experience recognizable symptoms at all.
This is why attending routine dental exams with our dentist is so important. The dentist can identify the gum infection at this early point before it advances and causes worse damage to your smile.
If the infection spreads, bacteria can eat away the teeth, gums, and jaw. Then you can see gum recession and even tooth loss. It is easier to treat when caught early, so make sure you attend regular dental check-ups for periodontal disease screenings.
How Can a Dentist Treat Gum Disease?
Dentists treat gum disease by cleaning your teeth thoroughly using targeted techniques called scaling and root planing. They scrape away plaque build-up and excess bacteria, especially deep in the gum pockets where your usual oral hygiene tools cannot reach.
You might also benefit from an antibacterial rinse. This special mouthwash will balance the natural bacteria in your mouth so that it has a reduced chance of spreading to your gums and causing an infection. Do not delay periodontal therapy so that you can avoid severe and irreversible damage to your smile.
How Do I Protect My Gum Health?
You can take care of your gums and avoid gum disease with proper preventative care. This involves practicing good, thorough, and consistent oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss daily to remove harmful plaque before it allows bacteria to reach and infect your gums.
Proper oral hygiene also includes visiting our dentist for routine teeth cleanings to eradicate plaque your toothbrush cannot access. Drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth and other risk factors for gum disease in order to protect your gums from infection.
Certain medical conditions, like pregnancy, influence hormones in the body. As a result, you can see a greater risk for infections like gum disease. So make sure you talk to our dentist to get the oral health care you need to avoid this concern.