April 3, 2023
Pregnancy can bring a lot of excitement, yet uncertainty into one’s life. There are all sorts of things that need to be done to prepare. This includes caring for oral health needs. In fact, expectant mothers are more likely to develop certain oral health issues than the average person. Continue reading to learn why pregnant women are at higher risk of dental problems, risks associated with them, as well as some tips for pregnancy oral health in Anthem.
Why Are Pregnant Woman at Higher Risk for Oral Health Issues?
It isn’t all that uncommon for mothers-to-be to experience oral health issues while pregnant. Here are a few reasons why this is the case:
- Exhaustion: In addition to all the hard work one puts in each day, being pregnant only makes the day more exhausting. It can be easy to neglect regular oral hygiene steps in order to get much needed rest.
- Hormones: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make issues like periodontal disease more common. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis which can progress when left untreated.
- Morning Sickness: Because stomach acid is so acidic, enamel can be weakened when an expectant mother is experiencing morning sickness. Ultimately, this increases the risk of cavities.
- Cravings: Having the urge to consume certain foods can lead to increased snacking throughout the day. Unfortunately, this also means more cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth.
How Do a Pregnant Mother’s Oral Health Issues Affect the Unborn Baby?
The oral health of a pregnant woman can affect the health of her child. When there is excessive bacterial growth due to an infection in the mouth, they can enter the blood stream and travel to the uterus. This can then trigger the production of chemicals called prostaglandins which are suspected to induce preterm labor. This is likely why there is a link between severe gum disease in pregnant woman and premature birth with low birth weight. Being born too early can cause a child to experience health issues.
How Should Pregnant Woman Maintain Excellent Oral Health?
- Brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste
- Floss once daily
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Do not drink alcohol or use tobacco products
- See a dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups
If you’re expecting, be sure that you are taking the needed steps to keep your smile healthy throughout your pregnancy. By following the steps listed above, you can avoid oral health issues and set your little one up for success.
About the Author
At Anthem Dentistry, you have not just one, but two skilled dentists. Dr. Connor Stevenson and Dr. Kenneth Williams earned their dental doctorates from the Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine in Arizona. They are both members of the American Dental Association and the Arizona Dental Association. For more information on maintaining excellent oral health or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (623) 246-4741.