Eating for two calls for dental vigilance

Nov. 26, 2010 at 9:04 PM
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DETROIT, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- A Detroit dentist says many know dental exams are advisable during pregnancy but few know why.

Dr. Crystal McIntosh says an important reason for good oral hygiene and visits to a dentist by pregnant women is to help alleviate gum inflammation.

"Although bleeding and inflammation of the gums has been noted in all trimesters of pregnancy, it typically disappears three to six months after delivery, provided that proper oral hygiene measures are implemented," McIntosh says in a statement.

The study, published in the Academy of General Dentistry, describes the dental hygiene changes moms-to-be may face. These can include:

-- Gingivitis causing redness and inflammation of the gums, bleeding on probing and increased tooth mobility.

-- Pregnancy tumors found in about 10 percent of pregnant women are non-cancerous growths in the mouth that usually disappear after the child is born. Typically painless and purple or red in color, they can exhibit spontaneous bleeding.

-- Mild to severe gingival enlargement -- an overgrowth or an increase in the size of the gums. In rare, severe cases, the gums can cover the teeth completely.

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