There are many changes that happen within the body during pregnancy. Many people don’t realize that bodily changes in pregnancy can also impact the teeth and gums. For the health of both the mother and the baby, proper oral care is important throughout pregnancy.
Why Does Pregnancy Affect Oral Health?
Three main factors can increase oral health risks during pregnancy:
- Hormonal changes
Multiple hormonal changes occur in pregnancy, including an increase in progesterone and estrogen levels. The higher levels of certain hormones during pregnancy can lead to problems with the teeth and gums.
- Different eating habits
Pregnancy often causes women to have different eating habits. Since the types of food that you eat impact the health of your teeth and gums, this can be a factor in oral health changes during pregnancy.
- Poor dental health habits
Increased tiredness, nausea, and gum tenderness can lead pregnant women to brush and floss their teeth less than they did before pregnancy. Poor dental health habits increase the risk of oral health problems.
Oral Health Risks in Pregnancy
Sixty to seventy-five percent of pregnant women have gingivitis. It is one of the early stages of periodontal disease. Symptoms of gingivitis include redness, inflammation, tenderness, and bleeding of the gums. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease has been connected to poor pregnancy outcomes, so it’s essential for pregnant women experiencing symptoms of gingivitis to receive prompt treatment.
Pregnant women are also at an increased risk of cavities. When pregnant women have a high amount of cavity-causing bacteria, the bacteria could be passed from their mouths to their babies’ mouths. This may increase a baby’s risk of developing cavities in early childhood.
For preventative dental care and dental care throughout pregnancy, contact Lowry & Obrochta Dentistry today.