Women who suffer from periodontal during pregnancy are more likely to give birth prematurely or to an underweight baby, studies show. Accordingly, a baby born to a woman suffering from periodontal disease is more likely to experience a delay in the development of motor skills, or have a learning disability. The more severe the periodontal disease, the more premature the baby is likely to be born. What is considered a relatively simple fix in the mother’s case, can cause serious, long term issues with the baby.
In a statement issued by the American Academy of Periodontology and the European Federation of Periodontology researchers urged women to maintain healthy gums throughout their pregnancies. The statement made clear the safety of non-surgical treatments for periodontal disease during pregnancy.
Because of the hormonal changes pregnant women undergo, they are at a significantly higher risk of contracting periodontal disease. This is because of an increased level of progesterone in the body during pregnancy which makes it easier for bacteria to grow. “Pregnancy gingivitis” is experienced by 50-70% of pregnant women.