Expectant mothers are busy. With numerous doctor’s appointments, tons of cute baby gear to buy, baby books to read, and a house to baby proof, it’s no surprise that many of them end up neglecting their teeth and gums. In many cases, dental care for pregnant women is just not a priority. However, any dentist will tell you that pregnant women need to make their oral health a priority.
During pregnancy, a woman’s teeth and gums actually change due to hormones. Those who experience morning sickness are also vulnerable to cavities.
“By far, the most common dental complaint of pregnant women is bleeding gingiva, or bleeding gums. During pregnancy, your gums may become inflamed or infected in part due to all of the hormonal changes. When your gums become inflamed, the condition is referred to as gingivitis, but untreated gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease, a serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis during pregnancy, if left untreated, has been shown to contribute to pre-term, low birth weight infants.”
To maintain proper oral hygiene, dentists recommend expecting mothers get their teeth professionally cleaned every 4 months, instead of the usual 6 months.
“Being pregnant comes with many responsibilities including vigilant oral hygiene care. It is important to continue seeing your dentist during pregnancy for oral examinations and cleanings. For most women, routine dental visits are safe during pregnancy, but keep your dental office updated when you make your appointment. Be sure to tell your dentist about any changes you have noticed in your oral health such as swelling, redness, or bleeding.”
When at home, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, or even after every meal. Floss thoroughly daily, and limit the amount of sugary snacks and drinks you consume. Your dentist may also have you rinse with mouthwash daily to inhibit plaque growth.
Some insurance plans allow extra teeth cleanings for pregnant women. Please inquire with our staff for more information.