Does Pregnancy Affect Oral Health?
While pregnancy and the promise of new life brings much happiness and expectation, the onset of biological and physical changes to a woman’s body has dental professionals urging “expecting” patients not to neglect their oral health. Considering the many changes, not to mention the effects of morning sickness, that the average woman will experience, this may be easier said than done. While it’s possible to maintain optimal oral health during pregnancy, the bottom line is—Pregnancy Does Affect Oral Health. Here are some important connections to make note of:
Primary changes during pregnancy that affect oral health begin with the increase of estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones increase, gum tissues react in an exaggerated sense to the presence of plaque. In as early as the second month of pregnancy, gums can become red and swollen. This is what many refer to as “pregnancy gingivitis.” It’s important to understand that pregnancy gingivitis can affect any expecting patient to some degree, but it is important to combat.
It’s suggested that pregnancy gingivitis can lead to pregnancy tumors and even complications with the baby’s health. Pregnancy tumors, though non-cancerous, are an overgrowth of gum tissues, typically found along the gum line. While they usually disappear after childbirth, irregular brushing and flossing may lead to bacteria entering the bloodstream through infection. When excessive bacteria enter the bloodstream of an expecting patient, the bacteria can ultimately travel to the uterus, triggering the production of chemicals believed to begin preterm labor. Some also suggest that when bacteria in the mother’s mouth are swallowed, they can transfer to the baby through blood or amniotic fluid.
At Pleasant Plains Dental, we believe that regular and comprehensive oral care can reward you with a healthy smile. We also believe that quality dental care contributes to your overall health. Even so, if you are pregnant, you may not feel up to maintaining the level of oral care that you need. That’s why we encourage you to give us a call today. With regular dental checkups, Dr. Ernst and team at Pleasant Plains Dental will help you maintain clean teeth and gums while you prepare to welcome your new little one into the world.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Henry J. Ernst, Pleasant Plains Dental