How Does Dental Hygiene Affect Pregnant Women?

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women are often bombarded with lists of activities they can and can’t do, but one topic that rarely makes it onto these lists is dental hygiene. It is vital that pregnant women visit their dentist for regular cleanings. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause swollen, bleeding gums that can trap food and increase the risk of infection.

Periodontal Gum Disease

One common problem pregnant women experience is periodontal gum disease. Caused by plaque, periodontal gum disease results in an infection of the gums and bone. Because pregnancy generally causes a buildup in plaque, pregnant women are more susceptible to this disease than the general population. Though doctors are unsure exactly how periodontal gum disease affects pregnant women, one study suggested that it leads to an increased risk of preeclampsia. Though many women with preeclampsia deliver healthy babies, it is considered a serious pregnancy complication.

Oral Hygiene’s Effects on the Pregnancy

If women do not practice good oral hygiene while pregnant, they can adversely affect their pregnancies. Studies have shown that women who did not visit their dentist regularly and take care of their teeth, there gums are more likely to have pregnancy complications like preterm delivery. The theory behind this link is that the pregnancy hormones coupled with the inflammatory molecules in the gums can trigger uterine contractions. Furthermore, studies suggest that some babies have a low birth weight as a result of their mothers’ poor dental hygiene.

Dental Care During Pregnancy

Pregnant women should visit their dentist regularly for cleanings and pay careful attention to their teeth and gums. They should continue to brush their teeth twice-a-day and floss at night. Though pregnancy often comes with cravings for sweets, avoiding sugary snacks will help decrease pregnant women’s risk of developing oral hygiene problems. Additionally, eating a healthful, balanced diet will benefit both mom and baby. Diets rich in dairy products are excellent for maintaining mom’s teeth and strengthening baby’s developing ones.

Schedule an Appointment at Daxon Dentistry Today

Pregnancy brings its own list of to-dos with it, but scheduling regular dentist visits should be near the top. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums does not just benefit mom, but it also keeps baby safe and reduces the risk of preterm labor and low birth-weight.