So, you’re pregnant? Congratulations! Growing your family is exciting and also busy. While you might be tempted to skip your dental checkups between doctor’s appointments, classes, and baby-proofing, think again! The health of your pregnancy and oral health are strongly linked.
Discover everything you need to know to keep your smile healthy during and after pregnancy and why dental care is essential to your prenatal care and postpartum recovery.
Why Is Oral Health Important During Pregnancy?
Did you know pregnant women are fifteen times more likely to get a tooth infection and gum disease? The main reason? Plaque buildup.
A healthy mouth and strong teeth are necessary for both mother and child during pregnancy. So, here are five essential things to know.
#1: Good Dental Health During Pregnancy Can Improve Your Baby’s Health
According to the CDC, children of mothers with high levels of untreated cavities or tooth loss are more than three times as likely to have cavities as a child.
Poor dental health is also linked with preterm birth and low birth weight. So, if you’re newly pregnant, now is the time to schedule a cleaning and checkup with your dentist!
#2: Hormonal Changes During Pregnancy Can Increase the Risk of Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease, and Cavities
During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone increases in the body. This hormone helps support your baby’s growth, but it also causes changes in your mouth that could increase your risk of gingivitis and cavities.
The increased progesterone level means more plaque will form on your teeth — which can lead to tooth decay (dental caries) and an increase in swollen gums. If left untreated, this inflammation can lead to periodontal disease.
Does Oral Health Affect Pregnancy? Yes!
Have Concerns? Call to Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Shah at Pleasant Dental!
#3: Your Teeth May Shift During Pregnancy
Pregnancy hormones can cause your gums to swell (gingivitis) and your jawbone to soften, which can also trigger slight changes in the position of your teeth. So, if you notice any pain or discomfort when you bite down on something hard, like an apple or cracker, it could be due to shifting teeth.
When you brush or floss, you may also notice more teeth sensitivity than usual. Always talk to your dentist about concerns but know some sensitivity is normal!
#4: Avoid Certain Mouth Care Products During Pregnancy
Just as you need to steer clear of foods that are unsafe during pregnancy, it’s crucial to avoid mouth care products that can harm you or your baby. For example, avoid any products with alcohol, as they can be dangerous for a developing fetus. Also, proceed with caution before you undergo treatments like teeth whitening and fluoride. It’s best to consult your doctor before you make any changes to your oral hygiene routine.
#5: Oral Health Is an Important Part of Postpartum Care Too
As you schedule postpartum appointments, don’t forget to book a dental appointment. Breastfeeding mothers need to be extra careful about their oral hygiene because they have an increased risk of developing cavities due to elevated milk sugar (lactose) levels in their saliva.
Schedule Your Visit with Pleasant Dental Today!
Your health and your baby’s health are linked. While pregnant, your oral health affects your overall health — and the health of your growing baby. So, make conscious dental care choices during pregnancy to give yourself and your future child the best start possible.
Do you need a compassionate dentist who can care for your whole family during pregnancy and beyond? Dr. Jay Shah and the team at Pleasant Dental in Greensboro offer warm, friendly, expert care and convenient appointments that fit your schedule.
Prioritize Your Pregnancy and Oral Health!