Pregnant? Don’t Skip Your Dental Visit

Pregnant? Don’t Skip Your Dental Visit

Pregnancy brings extra responsibilities in terms of self-care. While it is common to focus on your nutritional intake and monthly prenatal checkups during these nine months, you should not neglect your dental care needs. In fact, routine dental visits become extra important when you are pregnant. Abandoning your oral health during pregnancy can compromise more than your smile. Dental issues such as gum disease can lead to serious complications like premature birth and low-birth weight.

 

Oral Health and Pregnancy

If you’ve noticed an increase in gum or tooth sensitivity during your pregnancy, you are not alone. While it may seem strange, your surging and shifting hormones have a direct impact on your gums. Expectant women are much more susceptible to gum disease and gingivitis, which can unfortunately lead to setbacks within your smile, your overall health and your baby’s health.

Gum disease refers to an infection within the soft tissues that support your teeth. Periodontal disease sets in when bacteria and plaque accumulate along the gum line and irritate these oral tissues. If not treated, the gums may pull away from the tooth root and lead to advanced infection, tooth loss and systemic health complications.

Gingivitis is the first and most treatable stage of gum disease. At this stage, the gums may simply be swollen, red or bleed easily. Gingivitis is highly common in pregnant women. In fact, “pregnancy gingivitis” affects up to 60 - 75% of pregnant women. Getting gingivitis does not mean you are destined to experience a pre-term labor or low birth weight baby, but it does mean that your oral health needs attention and treatment quickly.

 

Maintaining a Healthy Smile for a Healthy Baby

It may be difficult to keep up with your oral hygiene during pregnancy. After all, many women unpleasant morning sickness and nausea that can make tooth brushing an unpleasant experience. In addition, you may be snacking on more sugar-laden foods or drinks to keep your nausea at bay or satisfy your pregnancy cravings. However, it is critical that you maintain strong dental hygiene habits during your pregnancy to avoid gingivitis. It is also important that you don’t cancel your routine dental cleanings, as these are valuable appointments that can detect and reverse gum disease at its earliest stage. While there may be certain dental procedures that are best to delay, routine dental cleanings and exams are perfectly safe during pregnancy!

Want to learn more about the importance of dental care during pregnancy? Call North Pointe Ob/GYN in Cumming. We take pride in helping women achieve a healthy and happy pregnancy!

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