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How Pregnancy Affects Oral Health

by frederickbuchanan

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Many first time moms visiting our San Juan Capistrano Periodontics Dentist are surprised to experience an uptick in dental problems while pregnant. You are probably familiar with the old wives’ tale, “A tooth lost for every child,” but perhaps never gave it a second thought until now. Hormonal changes during pregnancy affect your not just your body, but your teeth and gums as well. It is important to note that the health of your gums might also affect the health of your unborn child.

How does pregnancy affect teeth and gums?

“Pregnancy Gingivitis” is a condition affecting about half of all women who become pregnant, and can result in swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness of the gum tissue. Periodontal disease, which is a serious gum infection, could affect the health of your baby.

Is periodontal disease linked to preterm low birth-weight babies?

Studies have suggested a possible link between periodontal disease and preterm, low birth weight babies. Keep in mind, though, that research in this is inconclusive. However, because pregnant women with periodontal disease have the potential to deliver babies prematurely, controlling periodontal health while pregnant is a prudent choice.

What steps can be taken to avoid this condition?

A consistent regimen of proper oral hygiene and routine dental exams and cleanings at our San Juan Capistrano, CA Periodontal Dentistry office are the best preventative measures against developing gum disease, regardless of whether you are planning on getting pregnant or not. If you do become pregnant, be sure to advise our office and schedule a cleaning early in your pregnancy so we can look for any adverse change in your oral health. It is also advisable to plan this visit early in your pregnancy so that you can sit more comfortably in the dentist’s chair.

Please be more mindful of your at-home oral hygiene routine while pregnant. Hormonal changes can increase plaque production and lead to decay. Brush routinely after meals, floss twice daily, and avoid sweets, or at least brush immediately following if consumed.

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