Gum disease during pregnancy

Failure to treat gum disease during pregnancy

If you have suffered issues due to failure to treat gum disease during pregnancy and would like to know where you stand on claiming compensation then you can contact our free legal helpline.

Gum disease and pregnancy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US estimates that between 60-75% of pregnant women suffer from the early onset of periodontal disease, known as gingivitis. Hormonal changes mean that women are prone to periodontal disease during pregnancy and symptoms are often exacerbated during this time, with gums more likely to bleed due to increased blood flow.

It is therefore really important to have regular dental checkups during pregnancy and this should be emphasised by your midwife during your booking appointment. Your midwife will also provide you with a maternity certificate (MATB1) as you are entitled to free NHS dental care from the time your pregnancy is confirmed up until your baby’s first birthday.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal (gum) disease. You will often notice that your gums are swollen and red due to inflammation. If gingivitis goes untreated, this will lead to infection which can cause bone loss and ultimately tooth loss.

What treatment can be carried out during pregnancy?

Most dental treatment can be carried out safely during pregnancy. You must inform your dentist that you are pregnant so they can ensure that you are provided the most appropriate treatment in the circumstances and to avoid unnecessary risks. You may be offered the option of postponing routine radiographs until after your pregnancy, to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure. However, studies have shown that it is still safe to have such radiographs, if it is clinically necessary.

Failure to treat gum disease during pregnancy

Unfortunately, we have seen many cases where dentists fail to provide gum disease treatment because their patients are pregnant. There is no excuse for the dentist to delay treatment on these grounds as periodontal treatment during pregnancy is safe and effective.

It is concerning that some dentists still take this stance, given there is research published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, suggesting that poor oral health during pregnancy increases the risk of premature labour and low birth weight.

How we can help

If you want to know more about failure to treat gum disease during pregnancy or would like a free case assessment, please call our legal helpline on 0333 888 0406 or send an email to [email protected]

Gum disease during pregnancy