Updated on February 11, 2021.
When you’re pregnant, your body goes through a lot of changes, including hormonal shifts. But did you know that those changes in hormones might end up affecting your oral health? That’s right: your gums can become more prone to gingivitis and gum disease, so it’s important to take amazing care of your teeth and gums while you’re expecting.
In addition to taking steps to keep your mouth healthy for yourself, there’s another great reason to pay extra attention to your gums when you’re pregnant. Keep reading to learn more about the potential effects that gum disease might have on your baby.
According to experts, you might be at a greater risk of certain oral health issues during your pregnancy, and those problems might then result in complications like giving birth to your baby prematurely.
It’s scary to think that something like gum disease could potentially have an effect on your unborn baby, but some research has shown that there is a possible link between premature birth and this oral health ailment.
How is this possible? Basically, the bacteria that are associated with gum disease, and that cause inflammation, might make their way into your bloodstream. Once that happens, the bacteria might affect the fetus, causing low birth weight or premature birth.
Many pregnant women worry about whether seeing the dentist is safe, but experts generally recommend sticking to your appointments to keep a close eye on your pearly whites because pregnancy might end up affecting your oral health. Plus, the sooner your dentist notices a gum problem, the sooner it can be resolved with treatment, thereby helping to keep your whole body well.
Periodontal treatment may be safe for women who are expecting. So, if you have been diagnosed with gum disease while pregnant, or you had gum disease in the past and you’re worried about it recurring, it’s wise to work with your dentist to ensure you receive the appropriate treatments that can help prevent complications and keep your gums as healthy as possible.
By taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can also take a smart step to help ensure you have a smooth pregnancy. And seeing your dentist is part of the process of keeping your gums free of disease. Just make it a point to let your dentist and dental hygienist know that you’re pregnant, so you can rest assured you’ll get the best and safest treatments available.
In addition to seeing the dentist, don’t forget to maintain a strict at-home oral hygiene routine (brushing, flossing, using a mouthwash) while you’re expecting.
Also, keep in mind that drinking alcohol and smoking can have harmful effects on your unborn baby, while boosting the risk of oral health problems like gum disease as well. It’s yet another reason to lead a healthy lifestyle before, during, and after pregnancy!
You have enough to worry about while you’re pregnant, so you shouldn’t need to fret about paying for professional dental care. If you don’t already have dental insurance, consider signing up for a comprehensive plan. The right coverage can help you afford trips to the dentist both before and during your pregnancy, so you’ll never skip a beat when it comes to having your teeth and gums examined and professionally cleaned to prevent issues like gum disease.