I'm considering becoming pregnant. Should I visit a periodontist?
At the absolute minimum, you should schedule an appointment with your general dental provider, but it might be wise to see a periodontal specialist. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can exacerbate an existing periodontal condition, causing discomfort, swelling, and bleeding gums. Even more problematic, the chronic infection known as periodontal disease is associated with pregnancy complications, including premature birth and low birth weight.
Before you become pregnant, you should be screened and treated for any pre-existing periodontal disease. During your pregnancy, you will need to maintain your regular appointments. While certain procedures are not recommended during pregnancy, we can monitor and maintain your health and stay in close contact with your OB-GYN.
There is also evidence that periodontal disease exacerbates symptoms of diabetes (and vice versa). If you have gestational diabetes or have a family history of diabetes, you will want to work closely with both your health care provider and your periodontist to keep both of these conditions under control to prevent pregnancy complications.