Dental Health During Pregnancy

January 6, 2014

How Does Pregnancy Affect Dental Health?

Pregnancy Dental Health — studies show many pregnant women experience pregnancy gingivitis. This is when dental plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums.

Symptoms of gingivitis can include red, inflamed and bleeding gums. Prenatal care is especially important during pregnancy and your overall health definitely affects your newborn baby’s health as well.

Dental Health and Your Body’s Overall Health

While some people might have trouble associating dental health and pregnancy, research has linked a person’s dental health and overall health in several different areas such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more.

Taking care of your mouth and your teeth is definitely more than just about having good breath or a great smile.

Dental Health and Pregnancy

We know that with pregnancy, gum infections can be a result of fluctuating hormone levels that are taking place as your body changes. Due to other pressures, stress or even so many things on their mind, some women tend to neglect oral care and hygiene.

In addition to the health issues above, studies have also found that women who develop poor dental health during pregnancy (like gum disease between weeks 21 and 24 weeks) are up to 70% more likely to give birth before week 37 and several have also linked extreme gum disease to low birth weight. Both of these problems may be linked to an increase in a chemical compound called prostaglandin, triggered by gum disease or inflammation in the mouth, but more study is needed to totally understand the connections.

American Dental Association

Dental-Health-PregnancyThe American Dental Association offers these mouth-healthy suggestions for pregnant women:

  • Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily, as well.
  • Snack only in moderation, and make sure to eat a balanced diet.
  • Visit a dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
  • Talk to your dentist about a night-time antimicrobial mouth rinse if you have trouble controlling plaque.

For more answers from The Richardson Dentist in Richardson TX about dental health and it’s impact on your overall health, give us a call at 972-535-4608.

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The Richardson Dentist – Kerry M. Goad, DDS
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