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The Importance of Oral Health During Pregnancy

Once a woman becomes pregnant hormones rule and the pregnancy becomes the focal point.

Perhaps you try to be more health conscious about your eating, but sometimes hormones make cravings impossible to resist and they may not be considered “healthful.” However, one aspect of health that often gets overlooked during pregnancy is oral health.

Research indicates that poor dental health may affect the overall health of your growing baby as well as its dental health.

It is important to have regular or increased dental visits during pregnancy.  Keeping the mouth, gums, tongue and teeth clean and cavity free is integral. However, you’ll want to avoid x-rays and any elective dental procedures.

Schedule Regular Cleanings

Research shows that pregnant women who have or develop periodontal disease are up to five times more likely to have their baby preterm and low birth weight, than those who don’t. Schedule regular cleanings to prevent the accumulation of bacterial plaque, tartar and stain all of which have the potential to cause gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Hormonal Changes Affect Your Gums

The rise and change in hormone levels during pregnancy makes your gum tissue more sensitized to bacteria which can cause periodontal disease. Maintain excellent oral hygiene at home between your visits with the dental hygienist.

Infant Dental Development

Fetal tooth development starts between the sixth to eighth week of pregnancy and continues throughout. At about the fourth month of gestation, the teeth will start to mineralize and harden. It is imperative to eat a balanced diet full of vitamin rich vegetables and fruits for your infant’s teeth. Some children develop a higher risk for certain tooth problems if the proper ratio of nutrients is not present during growth and formation.

When to Have Dental Treatment Done?

As I have already mentioned, multiple dental hygiene appointments during pregnancy ensures that bacteria levels remain low and gum tissue stays healthy. If you require dental fillings, root canals or extractions, it is best to have them done in the second trimester when the fetus is completely formed. Treating an infected tooth or teeth is imperative so as not to risk spread of infection or raising inflammation in the body.