During your pregnancy, you likely take good care of your body, ensuring that you are eating, sleeping, and exercising the right amount to keep you and your baby healthy. One area that many expectant mothers overlook, however, is the need to care for their teeth. Your mouth plays a vital role in the success of your pregnancy and the health of your baby. Rather than neglecting your teeth or avoiding the dental care for fear of what will happen to your baby, you need to come in for regular appointments during this time so that we can ensure that your teeth, gums, and mouth are healthy.
Gum Disease Risks are High
Anytime that your hormones change, your gums are at risk for periodontal disease. This is especially true during pregnancy. Many women get what is called pregnancy gingivitis. This occurs when the progesterone in your body is high, allowing certain bacteria to accumulate in your mouth, making your gums inflamed and sensitive. If you have a predisposition to gum disease, it could become significantly worse during pregnancy, but even those patients that have never had a problem with their gums before suddenly have gum disease.
The Risks of Gum Disease
Gum disease can cause a variety of issues during your pregnancy for both you and your baby. In general, pregnant or not, periodontal disease can cause tooth loss, receding gums, and bone loss. Each of these occurrences can be detrimental to a person’s oral and physical health as well as their self-confidence. In addition, the bacteria that cause gum disease can be passed down to your baby. This could cause you to deliver the baby early or at the very least, a lower than normal birth weight, which can cause its own complications for your baby.
The best way to care for your teeth during pregnancy is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. It is also beneficial to brush after every time you eat if you can. If you cannot get to a toothbrush, at the very least, rinse your mouth out with water after eating in order to remove any food debris and bacteria that may be lingering in your mouth. In addition, make sure that you are flossing at least once a day and visiting our office for a cleaning at least twice during your pregnancy: once in the beginning and once near the end.
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