The connection between Oral Health & Pregnancy

Your teeth and gums need special attention during pregnancy. Conscientious brushing and flossing, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly will help reduce dental problems that may accompany pregnancy.

Pregnant women who have gum disease may be more likely to have a premature, underweight babies. More research is needed to confirm why this is, but it seems that “gum disease triggers increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor.”

Studies show that many women experience pregnancy gingivitis, plaque build-up on the teeth which irritates the gums. Symptoms include red, inflamed and bleeding gums. Pregnancy gingivitis occurs because the increased level of hormones exaggerates the way gums react to the irritants in plaque. Keeping teeth clean and cutting back on sweets can help keep plaque at bay.

Let you dentist know you are pregnant when you schedule an appointment.  X-rays, dental anesthetics, pain medications and antibiotics are usually not prescribed during the first trimester, and some things are not advisable throughout pregnancy. Your dentist may also want to consult with your physician before starting any new treatment.

For more information, please see Craig Daily Press.

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