Pregnancy & Oral Health
To start, your body’s overall health is, in many important ways, linked to your oral health. When you become pregnant, your health becomes a much larger part of your daily focus as, of course, it should. However, many fail to consider the impact of their oral health during pregnancy. When you consider the mouth and body connection during pregnancy, there are multiple new changes to be aware of involving your dental care. There are oral hygiene do’s and don’ts, as well as a few things to look out for.
Gum Disease During Pregnancy
Did you know that pregnancy hormones put you at a greater risk for developing periodontal (gum) disease? Pregnancy gingivitis is a “thing”. Even cavities come about more easily due to the influx of hormones pumping through the body.
Throughout pregnancy, certain hormones are rather elevated. This makes your gums more easily irritated by plaque and tartar.
Some women’s gums become inflamed, just like their poor swollen feet — right, moms? No one likes red, swollen, and irritable gums. Thankfully, gum disease is preventable and treatable.
Are you eating more carbs or just food in general? Watch what you eat because diet matters. Pregnancy is no excuse to eat triple the portions and develop a sugar addiction. I know, the cravings can hardly be controlled… BUT…your oral health is still very important on the long list of serious priorities in life. Don’t let “baby brain” forget about brushing and flossing regularly. Frequently check your mouth for inflammation and growth. Take good care of those gums.
Warning: gum disease may also negatively affect your baby’s health! Premature births and low birth weights have been tied to mothers with gum disease. Think about it… what goes in your mouth affects your teeth and your entire body, so it may have some consequences on your baby’s development. The mouth and body connection shows that oral disease may lead to other bodily diseases such as heart problems. Oh my!
Follow these dental tips for expecting mothers:
- Were you a pretty healthy person prior to becoming pregnant? Continue to be healthy throughout pregnancy!
- Don’t forget to floss and brush regularly, if not MORE often.
- Continue going to dental check-ups!
- Certain toothpaste flavors may make you feel nauseous… find natural or milder toothpaste to ensure proper brushing.
- No x-rays, please. While x-rays have become significantly safer in the last couple of decades, it is best to postpone them especially when pregnant.
- Skip the surgery. If an intensive procedure requiring anesthesia is wanted but not necessary during your pregnancy, delay it until after giving birth.
Read this pdf from the CDC for an in-depth look at oral health during pregnancy and early childhood.
Talk to Your Dentist
Pregnant and haven’t had your dental check-up yet? It is safe to visit the dentist during pregnancy, and it is highly recommended to do so! We have an easy solution. Request an appointment online today. Just like regular doctor visits are planned throughout pregnancy, a few dental visits strategically planned could benefit you and your unborn child’s health. Good dental hygiene should never be brushed aside. Practice good oral care before, during, and post-pregnancy.