Pregnancy is a complicated change with big implications for your body and the health of the fetus. More than any other time, women in pregnancy really need to stay on top of their oral health. Here are three reasons why it’s so important.
Reason #1: Greater Oral Health Risk Due to Pregnancy
Simply being pregnant can lead to changes in your oral health. Your gums and teeth are often affected, as in cases of pregnancy gingivitis or tooth erosion due to vomiting from morning sickness. Your own oral health is likely at greater risk during pregnancy than otherwise, which makes it a good idea to keep getting regular dental check-ups.
Reason #2: Oral Health is Inherited
There’s clear evidence that a baby’s oral health is predicted based on its mother’s. In other words, the condition of your teeth and gums will be passed on to your child. If you want your baby to start life with good oral health, avoid gum disease during pregnancy. Come see me regularly to make sure everything’s looking good.
Reason #3: Gum Disease is Linked to Pre-Term Labor and Low Birth Weight
There’s also evidence that links gum disease to premature birth and low birth weight! You might be wondering how that could possibly be true, but you have to remember that your mouth isn’t isolated from the rest of your body.
Gum disease is an inflammatory disease that occurs when microorganisms are allowed to proliferate because of poor oral health care. The damage from this bacteria is associated with every major system in the body, including the reproductive system. By causing pre-term birth, your baby is at greater risk for mental retardation and birth defects.
The reason I wanted to bring this up is because pregnant women don’t realize just how much of an effect their oral health has on the health of their future child. All you have to do is brush and floss daily, and come see me every six months for a check-up.
Making your teeth a work of art!
~Dr. Nancy Nguyen