The incidence of periodontal disease can be higher for pregnant women due to several factors including changing hormones, eating more frequently and vomiting due to morning sickness.
Gum disease, or periodontitis, has been linked to an increased risk of having a premature baby, so it’s important to follow your regular oral health care routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing. If your gums are sensitive, try using a floss that slides comfortably between your teeth, such as Oral-B SATINfloss or Crest Glide Floss.
Pregnant women also may experience “pregnancy tumors,” which are overgrowths of gum tissue between the teeth. These growths usually occur between the teeth, and they appear red and raw and bleed easily. Although these tumors are probably related to excess plaque that can persist in the mouth during pregnancy, the localized growths are distinct from typical periodontal disease and can be surgically removed by your dentist after the baby is born.
Try to postpone non-essential dental procedures until after the baby is born, but continue to seek preventive care, such as cleanings, and consulting with your dentist. The level of radiation from a dental X-ray is quite low, but if should need an X-ray before a dental procedure while you are pregnant, a leaded apron and leaded collar to protect the thyroid will help reduce any risk associated with this minor radiation exposure.