During pregnancy, women are more susceptible to certain dental and oral health issues. Poor dental health during pregnancy can negatively impact not only the mother but also the baby. Mothers can protect themselves and their infants by remaining aware of potential dental concerns in pregnancy and taking steps to protect their oral health.
Gingivitis During Pregnancy
Did you know that around 60 to 75% of pregnant women develop gingivitis? Gingivitis is a condition characterized by red, inflamed gums. It often also caused bleeding and tenderness in the gums. The hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy can increase the risk of developing gingivitis.
If left untreated, gingivitis can worsen into its more severe form, periodontal disease. Also called periodontitis, this condition has been linked to problems in pregnancy including low birth weight and preterm birth. This makes it crucial for women to receive dental checkups before and during pregnancy to identify signs of gingivitis/periodontal disease and provide prompt treatment as needed.
Cavities During Pregnancy
Changes in eating habits and dental hygiene during pregnancy can lead to cavities. Many women brush and floss less during pregnancy due to fatigue and nausea. However, this can cause an increase in bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to cavities.
Women can transfer the bacteria that cause cavities to their babies during and after pregnancy, which increases the child’s risk for developing cavities. Practicing good oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy can lower your risk of getting cavities and passing bacteria to your infant.
During pregnancy, the body produces the hormones estrogen and progesterone in much higher amounts. This can temporarily loosen the tissues and bones in the mouth. These tissues keep your teeth secured in place, so your teeth may be noticeably looser and even wiggle during pregnancy. Rest assured, this effect of pregnancy doesn’t impact tooth loss.
Before, during, and after pregnancy, the team at Lowry & Obrochta is here to protect your oral health. Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment!