Things to Consider about Oral Health During Pregnancy

With all of the other concerns that pregnant women have with their bodies, oral health may not be one that’s widely considered, but it should be. There is evidence starting to accrue that implies there is a correlation between oral diseases and premature or underweight birth.

There is still further research that needs to be conducted as to how gum disease can directly affect a baby’s health, but the signs are there. Gum disease can cause an increase in the level of fluid that induces labor in a woman. The acquired data also leads to the belief that premature births are more likely if gum disease continues to worsen during pregnancy.

Doctor Mauro Weingarten weighs in on what expectant mothers should prepare for, sharing his wisdom as an oral health expert and women’s health advocate.

“Pregnant women are especially vulnerable [to oral health conditions] and poor oral health habits can affect the unborn child’s developing teeth as early as six weeks after conception. Women bearing children need to pay attention to consistent oral health habits to avoid periodontal disease, which can lead to low-birth-weight babies or pre-term births.”

How to promote oral health during pregnancy

It is suggested that any pregnant woman, or even women who plan on becoming pregnant, make a trip to the family dentist for a routine checkup to try and rid herself of any oral health problems that are already present or may arise.

Once pregnancy has begun, it is important to pay attention to detail to both the gums and the teeth. Brush and floss every single day and eat a diet that is well balanced and contains the vitamins needed for oral health. Also make frequent visits to the dentist just to make sure no problems are developing.

What are the most frequent oral problems that arise during pregnancy?

Gingivitis is the most commonly seen oral problem for pregnant women as a result of plaque building up and causing inflamed or even bleeding gums.

The reason that this is more frequent in pregnant women is because the hormones in the body are raised to a very high level. This makes the gums overreact to irritation that can be caused by plaque. Although the hormones don’t help the situation, the plaque is the true cause of gingivitis and that should not be ignored.

Brushing along the gumline and paying close attention when cleaning helps to reduce or prevent gingivitis from happening. Try to keep sugary foods to a minimum and replace them with foods that are better for your teeth, such fruit.

Visiting the dentist

Always make sure that the doctor is aware that you are pregnant when you first call. The optimum time frame to visit the dentist is between months 4-6 as a precaution. Months 1-3 are when the child is developing and the last three can cause stress (common when going to the dentist), which may lead to complications. It’s not common, but it’s best to air on the side of caution.

Another reason is that X-rays and medications are typically not given during the first three months and the last three months for a pregnant woman make extended time periods of sitting very uncomfortable.

If there is an emergency situation in which you need to visit your dentist, let them know that you are pregnant first and foremost. Also in conversation, make sure to include any medications you are taking or miscarriages that you may have had in the past. This will let the dentist know the best course of action, and he/she may even have you speak with your doctor before being treated. For any medication, make sure not to take more than the dosage that has been prescribed.

Follow these tips and you are sure to have great oral health during pregnancy. Again, it’s easy to ignore it since it doesn’t seem related to pregnancy, but if you do let it fall by the wayside you will notice it plays a bigger part than you thought.

 

Comments

  1. Thia is great information to share! Thanks for posting about oral health during pregnancy – more people need to know 🙂

  2. Very interesting read especially since I am currently pregnant with #2. Great information to pass along to others.

  3. Depending on your individual needs you may also need to find specialists like a dermatologist, psychiatrist or an allergist. Understanding which doctors will accept your coverage is a smart move, and you do not want to wait until you are experiencing an emergency.

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