Periodontal Disease & Pregnancy

Challenge: The patient is expressing oral inflammation and is pregnant. The clinical signs of periodontal disease due to pathogenic bacteria look identical to the clinical signs produced by pregnancy hormones. Background:  A 21-week pregnant patient, age 34, presented for care. Upon periodontal assessment, there was generalized marginal inflammation with moderate bleeding on probing. The probe depth readings were generalized 3-4mm. The patient’s oral homecare consisted of twice daily brus...
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Case Study: Pregnancy and Periodontal Pathogens

Background: Patient is a 31 year old female, who presented with the chief complaint "My gums are swollen and painful." The last dental visit with exam was about 6 months ago. The radiographic examination including bitewings revealed horizontal bone loss and heavy amounts of generalized subgingival calculus. The patient's gums were erythematous with probe depths between 5-9 mm. Patient was diagnosed with generalized severe chronic periodontal disease. The additional challenge was that the patie...
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Pregnancy Gingivitis: Test, Don’t Guess

In 2015, about 1 out of 10 babies was born too early in the United States (1). In recognition of November's Prematurity Awareness Month, enjoy a hygienist's passion for providing exceptional periodontal care not just for the patient but the unborn patient. "Recently, I was training in a well-established dental practice of more than 30 years.  The four woman, very talented and all out of school less than a year hygiene team, prompted the question about my opinion of pregnancy gingivitis. I...
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Pregnancy Gingivitis: Test, Don’t Guess

Recently, I was training in a well-established dental practice of more than 30 years.  The four woman, very talented and all out of school less than a year hygiene team, prompted the question about my opinion of pregnancy gingivitis. I answered with a question of my own, “What did you learn in school about it?” Quite frankly, their response left me speechless, “It’s caused by increased blood flow and it will go away once the baby is born.”  WHAT?  Is this really being taught to the next genera...
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Gum Disease and Pregnancy

In recognition of National Women’s Health week that begins May 14, I encourage all readers to view the 3 minute attached video. Kim Miller has recorded a highly informative video on pregnancy and periodontal disease. Among the central points in this discussion is that healthy gums do not bleed. Kim makes the point that periodontal bacteria can enter the mother’s bloodstream, cross the placental barrier and potentially have an adverse effect on the developing fetus. There is also a recommendati...
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