Importance of Oral Health During Pregnancy 

By: Olivia Anderson

Women may be more prone to periodontal disease and cavities during pregnancy. Prenatal care may include oral health, given that poor oral health can adversely affect the mother and baby during pregnancy.

Your total health, particularly your dental health, is crucial. It plays a significant role in your prenatal care as well. Specific dental health issues that cause pregnancy concerns, like preterm birth, are more likely to occur during pregnancy. Attend your routine dental checkups while pregnant. Inform the orthodontist that you are expecting. To add to your information, pregnancy is safe for dental X-rays.

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How can pregnancy affect dental health?

Your mouth, teeth, and gums are all affected by your dental health, commonly referred to as oral health, and It’s critical to your general health. And if you’re expecting, it’s crucial for your prenatal care (medical care you get during pregnancy).

You are more likely to experience oral health issues when pregnant, and these issues may have an impact on your pregnancy. For instance, one study found a connection between gum disease and premature birth. Premature birth occurs when a baby is born before the mother has been pregnant for 37 weeks. Compared to babies born full term, premature babies may experience more health issues at birth and later in life. 

What impact does pregnancy have on your oral health?

Your teeth and gums may suffer from bodily changes that occur during pregnancy. For instance:

During pregnancy, several hormones, including progesterone and oestrogen, are in higher amounts. These may make you more vulnerable to developing specific oral health issues. Your eating patterns might also change. You might consume more of some items during pregnancy than you did previously. The food that you consume can also impact your oral health. 

You might brush and floss less frequently than you did before being pregnant. This can result from your gums being sore or you being more exhausted than usual. Some women may feel nauseous after cleaning and flossing their teeth (feeling sick to your stomach).

Your risk of developing some dental issues while pregnant may be increased by several changes, including:

  • Cavities (also called tooth decay or caries). 

These are minor spots on your teeth’s surface that are damaged. You are more likely to develop cavities if you are pregnant. You can transfer your infant the bacteria that causes cavities during pregnancy and after delivery. Later on, this could lead to issues with your baby’s teeth. 

  • Gingivitis. 

Gum inflammation (redness and swelling) is referred to as gingivitis. It can result in more severe gum disease if left untreated. Your risk of gingivitis may rise due to pregnancy hormones. Gingivitis affects 60 to 75 per cent of expectant mothers. Some warning signs and symptoms are:

  1. Redness and swelling
  2. Discomfort in the gums
  3. Bleeding gums even when gently brushing your teeth
  4. Glossy gums
  • Tooth decay. 

High amounts of progesterone and oestrogen during pregnancy can temporarily weaken the tissues and bones that support your teeth. Your teeth may become loose as a result.

  • Chronic gum disease (also called periodontitis or gum disease). 

Gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease if left untreated. The gums become seriously infected, and the teeth’ supporting bones also experience issues. You might need to extract your teeth if they become weak (pulled). Bacteremia may result from periodontitis (bacteria in the bloodstream). This dangerous ailment requires prompt medical attention. 

  • Tooth erosion 

Excess stomach acid may impact your teeth if you vomit due to morning sickness. Your teeth’s enamel, which is their hard surface, might be harmed by this acid. Pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting, often known as morning sickness or NVP, typically occurs in the first few months of pregnancy.  
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