You’re having a baby! Excitedly, you contacted friends and family to share the life-changing news, but did you also remember to call your Minneapolis area dentist? You might wonder, “What does my dentist have to do with our new addition to the family?” More than you might realize.
The Oral-Systemic Link
An important facet of caring and planning for your new bundle of joy involves maintaining your own health, both before and during your pregnancy. Studies reveal that maintaining healthy teeth and gums affect more than just your mouth. The condition of your mouth can also impact your overall health as well as that of your developing baby.
If you are still in the planning stages of adding a new addition to the family, you would do well to visit your dentist and resolve any dental issues beforehand.
Pregnancy and Oral Health
Maintaining good oral hygiene during pregnancy can be a challenge as your body undergoes significant hormonal changes, some of which can have a negative impact on your teeth and gums. Several potential issues may be:
1. Morning Sickness—Nausea and vomiting can repeatedly expose your teeth to corrosive stomach acid. Over time, this acid may weaken the protective enamel coating on your teeth and lead to tooth decay or other complications.
2. Pregnancy Tumors—These are lumps that may appear along the gum line and between your teeth. They may bleed easily but are neither harmful nor cancerous. Usually they will disappear after pregnancy, but your dentist can help you care for this problem if required.
3. Increased Snacking—Pregnancy often results in an increased appetite and snacking. If these snacks are sugary, full of starch, or acidic, it greatly increases your likelihood of developing plaque and tooth decay.
4. Pregnancy Gingivitis—The hormonal fluctuations experienced by expecting mother puts you at greater risk for experiencing swollen, bleeding gums, and the development of gum disease. Left untreated, this can lead to infections within your teeth, gums, and jawbone. It may even result in a low birth weight baby, or a possible premature birth.
Take Preventative Action
Pregnancy can be a busy time. Nevertheless, don’t forget to make time to care for the health of you and your baby by maintaining your oral health with the help of your trusted dentist. Develop good habits when it comes to brushing your teeth, flossing, and eating healthy. If you suffer the unpleasant effects of morning sickness, rinse your mouth afterwards with water or a fluoride rinse to help protect your teeth.
Due to the extra challenges expectant mothers face, it is a good idea for pregnant women to visit their dentist more frequently during this time period to receive preventative oral examinations and professional cleanings. Book your appointment with us today to give you and your baby something to smile about.
Do you think most women remember to get the appropriate dental care they need during pregnancy?