Schwangerschaft Zahnarzt

Risks connected with pregnancy

Increased risks for a baby

Health and the change of lifestyle of a mother are very important for the welfare of an unborn child. This view has been confirmed scientifically and the same applies for the dental field. Periodontitis is demonstrably a serious risk factor for a premature birth and a low birth weight. A low birth weight and premature birth can have a detrimental effect a child’s development. Children with a low birth weight have for example a higher tendency to infections and chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease and they are more likely to suffer from behavioural and learning disorders. If periodontal disease occurs but it is treated, the risk of a premature birth and a low birth weight then decreases. The oral health of an expectant mother is therefore directly related to the welfare of the embryo. But even after birth, a mother´s oral health is crucial for her child; the transfer of caries bacteria into the originally healthy oral cavity of children takes place mainly via parents and other relatives.

Dental risks during pregnancy

Being pregnant is a big physical strain for the female body. Oral health of pregnant women can suffer through altered hormonal balance and metabolism. Caries and periodontal disease are namely bacterial infectious diseases which might progress more seriously in situations of altered immunity and metabolism – such as in pregnancy.

Increased risk of caries during pregnancy

Particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy, the risk of caries can be greatly enhanced by frequent cravings for sweet and sour tasting foods. Hormonally conditioned, the composition of saliva can change adversely during pregnancy and so encourage the development of caries. The risk of dentine loss can become even greater through harmful acid attacks due to vomiting during pregnancy. Therefore, we recommend professional tooth cleaning.

Increased risk of periodontal disease during pregnancy

Problems with the tissue surrounding a tooth (Latin = periodontium) of an expectant mother needs to be taken even more seriously than the risk of caries.

Periodontal lesions during pregnancy are extremely common. Because of pregnancy-related loosening of connecting tissue and lowered immunity, inflammation of the gums at the tooth occurs more often (“pregnancy gingivitis”).

The superficial inflammation of gums may spread to the entire socket of a tooth and destroy the surrounding tissue. This may result in periodontal disease with increased jaw bone loss and associated tooth loosening. The consequences of advanced periodontitis frequently lead to tooth loss, even today.