Oral Health and Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings about numerous changes to the body. Each day can bring new surprises from swelling and sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations! Monthly or even weekly doctor visits to monitor the growing baby and mother are the norm, but what about dental care? How does this play into a healthy pregnancy?
According to the National Library of Medicine, “pregnant women are susceptible to a wide range of oral health conditions that could be harmful to their health and the future of their baby.” Various studies have been done to combat the old myth that women cannot visit the dentist while pregnant as it may cause complications to the baby’s development in utero. However, this myth could not be farther from the truth!
Proper oral care can prevent and treat harmful diseases affecting the baby’s long-term health. For example, women and babies can experience “premature birth, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, vaginal tissue ulcerations, gingivitis, pregnancy tumors, loose teeth, and more” if proper dental hygiene and oral care are not prioritized during the gestational period.
For example, mothers with periodontitis, also known as gum disease, by comparison to mothers with healthy gums, have a higher risk of giving premature birth as well as delivering a baby with low birth weight. Roughly 40% of pregnant mothers have gingivitis, a more mild form of periodontitis, which shows a real risk of these birth complications.
Proper nutrition also affects pregnant women at a higher rate. For example, a study from the AAFP shows that one-fourth of women of reproductive age have dental caries, a disease caused by carbohydrate fermentation that decomposes tooth enamel. Sugary and carb-rich foods can cause caries in pregnant women due to their higher susceptibility to oral cavities and cravings. Similarly, if the mother does not consume the right amount of nutrients, the child could experience tooth problems due to low calcium intake.
Pregnant women are also more likely to develop oral lesions, loose teeth, and oral tumors, so inform your dentist or dental hygienist of your pregnancy! Discuss any concerns or fears about routine oral care during pregnancy to ease your mind, and be sure to practice regular oral care. This preventative care goes a long way with keeping yourself healthy and your growing baby as well!
Stop by Cakmes Dental Studio for excellent prenatal oral care. Our team will be sure to look out for any anomalies to be concerned about and provide you with tips for keeping your dental hygiene routine perfect!