What is the common risk of poor oral health?
During your pregnancy you suddenly have to pay more attention to your health than you probably already did, including your gums, in order to prevent gum disease. Why should you pay extra attention to your oral health during pregnancy? What are the consequences of gum disease during pregnancy?
Due to hormone changes and an increasing blood flow to the gums, oral problems are lurking during your pregnancy. In addition to all the ailments that you can already experience during your pregnancy, you can also quickly suffer from aggravation of gum disease.
With gingivitis, your gums are irritated and red, and they bleed quickly. This is called pregnancy gingivitis. A bad taste in your mouth can also indicate gum disease. The gums do not hurt during inflammation, but they can be sensitive when brushing and touching. In addition, your gums, even if you do not have gum disease, will bleed faster due to the increasing blood flow.
Premature Birth and Low Birth Weight
Yet there is an even more important reason to pay extra attention to your oral health during pregnancy. When you think of the greatest dangers for pregnant women and their unborn child, you quickly think of smoking and alcohol consumption, but did you know that gum disease may also pose a risk to your unborn child? There is some evidence that the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight is significantly increased by gingivitis. This is usually not given much attention by obstetricians, gynaecologists and other health care providers who are involved with your pregnancy.
Untreated gum disease can lead to periodontitis, which also affects the jawbone. According to studies of other clinics and dentist along with Sky Dental Arizona , a pregnant woman with periodontitis have more chances to have a premature baby or low birth weight than the pregnant woman with healthy teeth. In addition, there are indications that bacteria in the mouth can reach the placenta and the fetus via the bloodstream and possibly cause a rejection reaction. Further research is needed to clarify the exact relationship.
Precautions During Pregnancy
- Take the following precautions to prevent gum disease and other mouth problems.
- Brush your teeth three times a day
For many women, it is difficult to take good care of their mouth during pregnancy because of the nausea and/or vomiting, but it is very important to brush your teeth three times a day. Brush in small steps. If necessary, use a small (children’s) toothbrush to make brushing easier. Use a toothpaste with fluoride. This will not harm you or your unborn child. If you vomit because of nausea, do not brush your teeth immediately after vomiting, as this will destroy your enamel. It is better to rinse with water or a mouthwash first. You can brush your teeth after half an hour.
Visit the dental hygienist every two to three months . The dental hygienist is trained to help you as a pregnant woman as best as possible to keep your mouth healthy, so it is recommended that you visit a dental hygienist every two to three months. Tell your dental hygienist that you are pregnant. The dental hygienist will not take X-rays during your pregnancy, because your unborn child is extra sensitive to X-rays, and anesthesia is also avoided as much as possible. Certain treatments are best performed in the second trimester of your pregnancy. Your dental hygienist will tell you why.
Prevention is better than cure
The focus of dental hygienists is on prevention, so even if you do not yet have mouth problems – or think you have, because a gum infection is not always immediately noticeable – it is wise to make an appointment with a dental hygienist quickly. The dental hygienist will tell you more about the risks of your pregnancy for your mouth, give you brushing tips and help you prevent gum disease and cavities in teeth.
You do not need a referral to visit a dental hygienist. So you can make an appointment like this. To be eligible for reimbursement by the health insurer, you must have taken out additional insurance for oral care. Find a dental hygienist near you or if you near Sky Dental Arizona try to check it out.
As a pregnant woman, do not wait, but take extra good care of your mouth and go to the dental hygienist as a preventive measure for your health and that of your unborn child.