Taking special care of your teeth is vitally important if you’re pregnant. In addition to the fact that there is a large volume of evidence linking gum disease and premature births, women who are pregnant are much more susceptible to dental health issues themselves while they enjoy the miracle of those wonderful nine months prior to welcoming their new addition to the family.
During pregnancy women typically experience pregnancy gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) and other gum problems because of the dramatic shifts in hormone levels as their body changes during pregnancy.
In addition, gums are much more easily irritated because of the gingivitis and swelling of their gums, resulting in inflammation and/or bleeding. Often morning sickness compounds this problem and women may decrease their brushing and flossing because of nausea or the fact that their gums actually hurt.
Remember…although hormone level shifts do increase the potential for dental problems, plaque (bacteria on the teeth and gums) is still the primary cause of almost all cases of gingivitis. This means that establishing a thorough dental care routine can significantly reduce oral problems and maintain a healthy mouth during pregnancy.
So think about it. What is the best way to maintain your oral health, and your baby’s health while you’re pregnant? The easiest solution is probably EXACTLY what your doctor has been advising you to do—eating healthy! Stay away from sugar…consuming foods high in sugar can greatly increase the likelihood of accumulating plaque and gingivitis for anybody, but the effects are often exaggerated during pregnancy because of those hormone shifts we discussed.
Remember gum disease and other oral health issues are accelerated during pregnancy. Therefore it’s even more important than usual to schedule regular dental checkups to be sure problems don’t arise.
The best time to have these appointments is between your fourth and sixth months of pregnancy because during this time period is important in your baby’s growth and development. In addition, because of added stress during the last trimester, it’s suggested that dental appointments be done before then.
It’s vital of course that you remain healthy throughout your pregnancy so that your baby doesn’t suffer the consequences of less than ideal health habits. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns or if you’d like to schedule a check-up. Be sure that you let us know you’re pregnant when you contact us so we can best assist you. Here at Gentle Dental Care in Plainville, CT, you can be absolutely certain that your dental health and your baby’s overall health are in the most experienced hands.
This video is from the ADA on Pregnancy and Oral Health:
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