Why would Ob-Gyns recommend periodontal (gum) evaluations to pregnant patients or those who are trying to conceive?
It has long been known that the inflammation of gum disease can become bloodborne through tears in the gum tissue. Studies have shown this plays a significant role in heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and preterm low birth weight babies as well as miscarriage.
A recent study now shows that gum disease also makes conception more difficult. The findings, published in Medical News Today, explained that women with gum disease took longer to conceive than those without. While being over the age of 35, overweight or smoking were negative influences for conception, periodontal disease can now be counted as a risk factor.
The study included over 3,400 participants, all with some level of gum disease. It found socio-economic status and the time it took the women to get pregnant were not linked.
It is estimated that about 10% of the population have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. This is especially troubling when gum disease can be easily prevented with daily brushing and flossing.
Since the symptoms of early stage gum disease are ‘silent,’ patients postpone recommended treatment. This is unfortunate, since most early stage gum disease is easy to treat and requires a minimal investment of time and expense.
When patients delay treatment for gum disease, it requires more involved therapy. When symptoms become obvious, they include persistent bad breath, tender gums that are red rather than a healthy pink and swollen areas around teeth.