Does Pregnancy Affect My Oral Health?

Does Pregnancy Affect My Oral Health?

When pregnant, it’s important that you maintain good overall health, including dental health. While the old wives tale of “gain a child, lose a tooth” is a complete myth, pregnancy does cause hormonal changes that may put you at risk of developing certain gum diseases. If you are pregnant, or thinking about becoming pregnant, be sure to follow these tips to keep your mouth, and your baby, healthy.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Between morning sickness, dry mouth and hormonal changes, your teeth are much more susceptible to gum diseases during pregnancy. Plaque can build up faster while pregnant, causing pregnancy gingivitis.

While gingivitis causes red, swollen and tender gums for everyone, it is especially dangerous for pregnant women. Research suggests that there may be a link between gingivitis and low birth weight. This is because bacteria enters the bloodstream through the gums. Bacteria can then travel through the uterus, triggering a chemical called prostaglandins believed to induce premature labor.

Protecting Your Teeth

As soon as you are planning on becoming pregnant, you should meet with your dentist for a checkup. Ideally, you should have your teeth cleaned before your pregnancy; however if this is not possible, have them cleaned during the first trimester. You may also want to schedule an appointment during the second trimester to keep track of your dental health. In addition, you should take the following steps to protect your teeth:

– If morning sickness is a problem, be sure to brush your teeth after every time you vomit. If you get sick throughout the day, carry around a small travel toothbrush, or some travel mouthwash.
– Stay away from sugary snacks. While you may have sweet cravings, sugary treats will increase your risk of tooth decay.
– Eat plenty of calcium. Your baby’s teeth start developing around three months. Their developing gums and teeth need plenty of calcium.
– Put off any elective dental procedures or dental x-rays until after you’ve had your baby.

Keep Your Baby and Your Teeth Healthy

Expecting a new baby is an exciting time! Do the right thing for your little bundle of joy and visit Daxon Dentistry today! We will make sure that your mouth is in the best possible condition to keep your baby healthy. Click here or call (727) 565-1665 to schedule your appointment.