Periodontitis is a chronic infection that affects the structures in support of the teeth and that, in the long run, can lead to their fall. In pregnancy, the risk of contracting it increases. Discover with us what are the symptoms, the causes and the most effective remedies to cure it!
Periodontitis in pregnancy is a problem that affects many expectant mothers, but that with the right prevention or with a targeted treatment can be cured. This pathology consists of an extended inflammation that affects the periodontium, ie the set of structures used to support the teeth. If left untreated and neglected, it inevitably leads to loss of teeth over time.
Gram-negative bacteria, which increase during the period of pregnancy, cause periodontitis. Here is explained why pregnant women are most at risk. Periodontal bacteria, moreover, can enter the bloodstream through the periodontal pockets and thus reach the amniotic fluid, causing a delivery before the term and / or underweight infants.
No fear: fortunately, today’s periodontitis can be cured, and there are also specific non-invasive treatments without the need for anesthesia, without the risk of damaging the child. Before analyzing the treatment for this disease, let’s take a closer look at what it is and what the main causes and symptoms are.
What is periodontitis and what are its main symptoms?
Periodontitis, as anticipated, is a chronic infection that affects periodontal tissues, causing a progressive loss of bone around the teeth. Often we do not realize that we suffer from it for several years and we underestimate the symptoms, first of all the bleeding of the gums.
Even 60% of the adult population suffer from it and its prevalence tends to increase with age. The negative impact of this disease is greater if you also suffer from systemic diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes.
Besides the bleeding of the gums, the other symptoms associated with periodontitis are halitosis, lowering of the gums, the displacement and mobility of the teeth and, finally, the diffused sensitivity to heat and cold.
What are the causes and the risk factors?
Periodontitis bacteria and their toxins cause parodontitis, which cause inflammation of periodontal tissues, with release of pro-inflammatory proteins (leukocytes and fibroblasts). The inflammatory infiltrate thus activates the destruction of the bone and the progression of the disease which, as we have seen, is the main cause of the fall of the teeth.
Among the triggers of this pathology there is first and foremost the lack of daily oral hygiene, which remains essential for the prevention and counteracting of symptoms. If plaque and tartar are not removed at home and with regular sessions by a specialist, it can activate the inflammation process and make it chronic.
Smoking is also an important risk factor: those who smoke are three times more likely to get sick than non-smokers and will also respond less well to curative treatments. Statistically, it has been shown that a smoker has 15 days more advanced epilepsy conditions than those who do not smoke and are likely to take it even under the age of 40.
Periodontitis in pregnancy
Greater attention must be paid to the teeth and gums during pregnancy. The high levels of progesterone and of estradiol in the blood, in fact, involve a high risk of gingival inflammation: tissues and mucous membranes become more sensitive.
The increase in estrogen also influences bleeding and gingival inflammation because it increases the volume of blood in the bloodstream. However, it is not a good reason to resign ourselves to the so-called “gravid gingivitis”, which must however be prevented and treated.
Finally, the crevicular fluid, ie the liquid containing sugars and proteins found in the gingival collar, increases during pregnancy and, in addition to facilitating the increase of bacterial plaque, feeds the gram-negative bacteria that cause periodontitis. Dental hygiene in pregnancy, then, will be more important than ever!
Cures, treatments and remedies
Periodontitis must be treated as soon as the first symptoms appear. You can use, to lessen the annoyance of symptoms (but not to eliminate the causes of inflammation), pharmacological treatments that include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid drugs or pharmacological disinfectant-antibacterial specialties. These drugs can be combined (but not used as a substitute) natural remedies such as aleo vera gel to apply on gums, echinacea, propolis, dandelion or horsetail.
There are several dental treatments useful for stopping the disease. It is possible to remove plaque and tartar (the so-called “scalar”) or a root plan, ie the removal of the tartar hidden under the gingiva.
Sometimes the treatments mentioned are not sufficient and you can resort to surgery: flap surgery, soft tissue grafts, bone grafting. However, there are less invasive but absolutely effective treatments, such as the PERIOBLAST method proposed by EDN IMI, which provides for the systematic and combined use of biomechanical analysis, operating microscope and laser. Through a precise diagnosis, which uses laboratory biomolecular analysis, we can understand the biological fundamentals of the infection, thus elaborating personalized treatments based on the combined use of the operating microscope and the laser: the first allows the roots to be treated avoiding the opening of the gums, while the laser eliminates pathogenic bacteria nested in areas not easily reached with drugs and stimulates natural bone regrowth.
Prevention and oral hygiene during pregnancy
A legend says that going to the dentist during pregnancy is risky: far from it, it’s essential! Your dentist will have to provide for regular checks and professional oral hygiene. Caution should be used only if you need to use x-rays and anesthesia, but your doctor will certainly know how to behave: trust!
To prevent periodontitis, we repeat, oral hygiene is essential, and during pregnancy it is even more so. Always remember, every evening, to pass the dental floss or brush and rinse with a mouthwash without alcohol. Brush your teeth after every meal, preferably with an electric toothbrush, for at least two minutes.
Checks at the dentist should be done periodically, at least twice a year, although it would be better every 3 months. Finally, try to limit the consumption of foods and drinks rich in sugar, not to risk developing gestational diabetes.