We’re sure many of you have either experienced or heard stories of mom’s dental health being effected by their pregnancies. Is that just from some of mom’s calcium being redirected to the baby? Is it something pregnant women just have to accept as part of pregnancy?
The answer is no. Here is some information about how to take care of your oral health while pregnant because it’s important for both you and your baby.
Dental health during pregnancy
Pregnant women are very focused on their baby’s health and development that sometimes they neglect what they think aren’t important. Dental health is one of them.
Unfortunately, several factors during pregnancy can make things go awry with greater speed if mom-to-be doesn’t take steps to maintain dental and gum health before and during pregnancy.
- Morning sickness can lead to stomach acid rising up to the mouth. Stomach acid is strong enough to weaken and damage teeth enamel.
- You also eat more often, so your teeth are in contact with acid from food more often than usual.
- You might be taking chewable or gummy vitamins and folic acid. Gummy and sugary supplements stick to teeth and feed cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth.
- Hormonal changes can cause pregnancy related gingivitis: inflamed, bleeding gums. If left untreated, this can lead to periodontitis, a more serious gum disease that includes bone loss.
- Stress related to pregnancy, discomfort sleeping or general hormonal changes can lead to tooth grinding (bruxism) that can wear down teeth and exacerbate periodontal disease.
Keeping your mouth healthy also keeps your baby healthy.
Gingivitis and periodontitis bacteria can enter the gums, travel in your bloodstream, and get into your uterus. This has been linked to prostaglandin production, which can lead to premature labor and low birth weight babies. Additionally, mothers are in such close contact with newborns that any dangerous bacteria in mom’s mouth can easily be transferred to baby, putting baby at greater risk for early dental issues.
Brushing as often as you can contributes to lowering your risk of pregnancy complications, and also eliminates the risk of passing on dental infection to your newborn baby.
Be careful with gummies and chewables for your supplements due to their sugar content and eat as much nutritious food rich in vitamins A and C to keep your gums healthy.
Dental care during pregnancy definitely requires the approval of the ob/gyn and the goal is to do dental work during the 2nd trimester if possible. Performing proper home care and keeping healthy gums and teeth prior to becoming pregnant is the best form of prevention.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.