Dental Health During Pregnancy
Did you know that taking care of your teeth during pregnancy is as important as maintaining a healthy diet and keeping up with appropriate exercise routines? By taking care of your dental health while you’re pregnant, you not only protect your own health, you protect the health of your baby too.
During your pregnancy there are two important aspects of dental health to consider: changes you may experience in your own dental health during pregnancy and how your dental health can affect your unborn child.
Changes You May Experience
Sensitive, swollen gums: Due primarily to an increase in estrogen and progesterone, gum tissue can react more dramatically to the presence of plaque. Because a pregnant women is more susceptible to the damaging effects of plaque, which can lead to gingivitis, it’s important to keep up healthy brushing routines to remove plaque at least twice a day.
Pregnant women are also at risk for developing pregnancy tumors, inflammatory, non-cancerous growths that develop when swollen gums become irritated. Normally, the tumors are left alone and will usually shrink on their own after the baby’s birth. But if a tumor is uncomfortable and interferes with chewing, brushing or other oral hygiene procedures, the dentist may decide to remove it.
How your Dental Health Affects your Baby
New research suggests a possible link between gum disease and pre-term, low-birth weight babies. Excessive bacteria can enter the bloodstream through your gums. If this happens, the bacteria can travel to the uterus, triggering the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which are suspected to induce premature labor. Though findings are inconclusive and further research is needed, we do know preventive dental care during pregnancy improves oral health and overall health and is safe for both mother and child.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy During Pregnancy
The same rules apply for taking care of your teeth when your pregnant as when you’re not, but as a quick reminder, here are some tips for keeping your teeth healthy anytime:
- Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks.
- Eat wholesome foods, paying special attention to getting enough calcium.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year and always call if you experience pain between visits.
Give us a call today. We’re always happy to provide tips and advice for how to keep your teeth for a lifetime.