Gum disease is a thoroughly unpleasant condition which causes gums to become inflamed, painful and sometimes infected. As nasty as it is in isolation, it is also believed to be linked with many other more serious conditions, and a recent study has revealed that it is also linked with early-onset labour.
According to a report published recently in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, women who went into early labour were much more likely to have gum disease than not. Almost half of the women in the study (45%) who went into premature labour had gum disease, compared with 29% of the sample who did not. Periodontology is the study of the specialised system of hard and soft tissues that supports your teeth and maintains their position in the jaw.
This study supports many others which indicate that oral health has a big impact on our overall health and wellbeing.
Dr Nigel Carter, the Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, reflected on these findings and says “the health of our mouth can have a direct influence on many parts of our general health. This includes the chances of having a safer birth. Many women find it more difficult to maintain good oral health during pregnancy. This is because hormonal changes during this time can leave gums more vulnerable to plaque and more likely to be sore and swollen. They may even bleed.”
As many pregnant women find it more difficult to keep their teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy, ensuring that women know how best to prevent gum disease and how to recognise the signs will help them take necessary steps to try and keep their oral hygiene as good as possible during pregnancy and afterwards.
The advice for everyone, not just pregnant women, for looking after their teeth and gums effectively includes:
- Brushing teeth at least twice a day
- Using fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing or using an interdental brush to get in between the gaps in your teeth
- Not smoking
- Consuming alcohol in moderation
Taking preventative measures to remain healthy
Here at CK Dental in Bristol, we always advise our patients that prevention is better than cure. Looking after your oral health and doing everything you can to prevent gum disease is always going to be a better option than trying to fix it once it has occurred, especially if it has brought with it more serious medical complications.
If you do, however, feel you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease then please do get in touch to discuss the most suitable treatment options. Call us on 0117 905 9866 to book a consultation.