Pregnant women are already aware that they need to take care of their health for the sake of the baby. What they probably don’t know is that they should also pay close attention to their dental health because they have a higher risk of developing gum disease due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Why is Dental Care Important During Pregnancy?
There is growing evidence suggesting that having a gum disease during pregnancy increases the likelihood of premature labor and underweight births. More research is still needed to establish a connection between pregnancy and gum disease. However, recent studies show that gum disease can cause the levels of biological fluids that induce labor to increase. More data collected during studies also suggest that gum disease can worsen during pregnancy, which may increase the risk of preterm labor.
Of course, a pediatrician will always be there to care of your baby, especially if they are born too early. However, it would still be best if you could just avoid problems with your pregnancy in the first place.
Oral Health Issues that May Develop During Pregnancy
Gingivitis is a common condition among pregnant women. Symptoms include inflamed, red, and bleeding gums. The reason why pregnant women are more prone to this condition is because of their increased level of hormones, which exaggerates the way gums and the irritants in plaque react with each other.
Morning sickness, a common symptom of pregnancy, produces additional acid that can erode the teeth if left in the mouth. Likewise, pregnancy dry mouth puts pregnant women at a disadvantage as it can cause tooth decay and infection.
What Can You Do to Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy?
Here’s some general advice you can follow to help reduce your risk of developing gum disease during pregnancy.
- Women who are planning to get pregnant should see their dentist beforehand so that any oral health issues can be treated and addressed.
- The gums and teeth need to be regularly cleaned and brushed during pregnancy to avoid dental problems. Flossing at least once a day is also recommended.
- Pregnant women are advised to visit their dentist regularly.
- Always rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash or regular water after each bout of morning sickness.
- Drink lots of water and chew on sugarless gum to stimulate the production of saliva to avoid pregnancy dry mouth.
In case of premature or low birth weight due to oral health complications, make sure to follow the schedule for your baby’s well child checkups in Phoenix. At Pediatrix, the overall well-being of your child is our top priority. Contact us to book an appointment today.