Did you know that oral health can affect your pregnancy? About 50 to 70 percent of pregnant women experience bleeding, sensitive, or swollen gums. Such a condition, called pregnancy gingivitis, is caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy, which make gums more susceptible to infections from bacteria found in plaque.
While mild gingivitis likely won't harm your baby, if left untreated, pregnancy gingivitis may become severe, which studies suggest may negatively affect your pregnancy and may lead to tooth loss later in life.
Dr. Gina Thornton-Evans of the Center for Disease Control's Division of Oral health says studies associate poor oral health with poor pregnancy outcomes, including preeclampsia (high blood pressure), low birth weight in infants, and gestational diabetes
Gum disease, she says, is also associated with preterm births. Bacteria, which causes gingivitis, can enter the bloodstream and travel to the uterus, which the body reacts to by producing prostaglandins, a natural fatty acid that controls muscle contraction. If the body makes too many prostaglandins, it may trigger preterm labor.
If you are experiencing gum disease (severe gingivitis), White River Dental — your local dentist serving Columbus, Brown County, Seymour, and Edinburgh — can treat and help heal your gums.
Because pregnant women are prone to gingivitis, it's best to prevent potential problems by engaging in healthy dental habits, many of which affect the health of your baby, as well. Healthy habits for dental hygiene include:
Brushing your teeth twice daily with toothpaste containing fluoride
Flossing your teeth once daily
Chewing sugarless gum after eating
Brushing your teeth or rinsing out your mouth with baking soda and water after vomiting
Habits that are good for your oral and good for your baby include:
- Not using tobacco products
- Not consuming alcoholic beverage (which often contain high amount of sugar)
- Staying away from foods with high amounts of sugar
- Drinking fluorinated water and milk instead of soda pop, juice, and other sugary drinks
Also, make sure you schedule and attend your regular appointment with White River Dental in Columbus, Indiana. Unlike myths suggest, routine dental procedures such as oral X-rays and local anesthesia are safe and won't harm your baby. Also, during your routine exam, we'll clean your teeth and check for issues that may affect your health.