Did you know that changes in your body during pregnancy can impact your dental health? Caring for your smile during pregnancy can lower the chance of gum and tooth infections. Receiving professional dental care during pregnancy can also decrease the risk of spreading harmful bacteria to infants. Learn the links between pregnancy and oral health and how we treat emerging dental problems like tooth decay in our Gouverneur, NY, dental office.
Links Between Pregnancy and Oral Health Problems
Oral health is often seen as a part of prenatal care because the effects of pregnancy can lead to dental problems, including:
According to the ADA Council on Access, Prevention, and Interprofessional Relations and the CDC, 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis. If women already experience gum inflammation, their symptoms can worsen during pregnancy.
Gum inflammation, or gingivitis, is marked by red, swollen, irritated, and bleeding gum tissue. Estrogen and progesterone, a decreased immune response, and changes in the mouth can increase pregnant women’s chances of developing gum inflammation. Antibacterial rinses, brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for dental cleanings can help reverse gum inflammation.
Over time, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis or gum disease. Patients with periodontitis exhibit more pronounced gum problems, including gum pain and recession. Professional gum cleanings can minimize harmful bacteria. Addressing problems like gum disease can also decrease the chance of low birth weights and pre-term births. Gum disease causes inflammation that affects other parts of the body and may be linked to preterm labor.
Know the signs of gum disease:
- Tender gums
- Bad breath
- Red or purple gums
- Bleeding and irritated gums
Dental cavities are holes in the tooth enamel. Also known as dental caries, cavities occur due to bacteria breaking down the enamel. Harmful bacteria feed on sugars and starches, creating acidic byproducts that damage the tooth enamel. Pregnant women can also carry cariogenic bacteria to their babies if they have tooth decay.
Sticking to a healthy diet during pregnancy and consuming sugar in moderation can help. We also provide dental fillings and root canal treatment if patients have a dental infection. Don’t skip dental checkups, even if you are pregnant. Routine cleanings are safe for pregnant patients and can help prevent these common dental problems in mothers and infants.
If it has been some time since your last appointment, call our Gouverneur office for care today at [new_patient_phone_span]. Feel free to schedule your next dental appointment with Dr. Nicholas Gardner online. Please let Dr. Gardner or a member of his team know if you have any questions about dental care and pregnancy. It is safe for pregnant women to visit the dentist for routine cleanings, so don’t skip a checkup!