Did you know that oral health during pregnancy is especially important? That’s because pregnancy hormones can cause inflammation of the gums and pregnant women can develop gingivitis more easily than they might be they not pregnant. Worse yet, this can happen even if the woman already has excellent oral hygiene! Pregnancy gingivitis usually goes away once the pregnancy is over, however, in some cases it can linger or worsen, developing into periodontitis. This can put the patient at risk for bigger problems, like lost teeth, gum tissue, and even bone loss.
But it doesn’t stop there, either. Pregnant women with gingivitis can pass the gingivitis along to their unborn baby, which can put the baby at risk for low birth weight and for severe gum disease themselves before they’ve even developed teeth!
That’s why the American Dental Association is now recommending that legislators push for expanded dental coverage during pregnancy. This would help protect pregnant women and their unborn babies from gum diseases, making for a healthier pregnancy, healthier mother, and healthier child(ren).
If you are pregnant, there are safety measures you can take to protect your teeth and gums from pregnancy gingivitis. Remember, it may develop even if you are diligent with your oral health care, but with these tips, you can lessen its severity.
Brush regularly, at least twice a day (preferably after every meal) for two minutes at a time, minimum.
Floss at least once a day, preferably at night.
Use mouthwash before or after brushing to freshen breath, loosen plaque, and help kill bad oral bacteria
Visit Dr. Mingus at least once during your pregnancy, and let him and his staff know you are expecting.
If you are experiencing oral health issues during your pregnancy, remember to discuss them with your OBGYN as well so that your baby’s health can be monitored more closely. Your doctor may recommend visiting Dr. Mingus more frequently for cleanings and exams.
If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to give Dr. Mingus a call, and we will be happy to speak with you about your oral health.