Pregnancy and Oral Health
Oral health is especially important for pregnant women. You may need to see your dentist more often during your pregnancy to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy. Research has shown that oral health directly affects your overall health, and for expectant mothers, the state of their oral health can also affect their babies.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), gingivitis is especially common during the second to eighth months of pregnancy. The increased level of progesterone may increase sensitivity to plaque. Gingivitis usually manifests as red, swollen, or tender gums, and they may also bleed when you brush. Treating periodontal disease is very important for expectant mothers because gum disease has been linked to premature births and to low birth weights.
The ADA also states that it’s a myth that a mother will lose calcium in her teeth during her pregnancy. If dietary calcium is inadequate, the body will take it from the stores in the bones. So, it’s important that pregnant women take enough calcium, either through supplements or through dairy products.
Morning sickness can also affect your teeth. Stomach acid can weaken your enamel and increase your risk of cavities. Hormonal changes may also cause dry mouth. The less saliva you produce, the higher the chance that bacteria will cling to your teeth building up plaque and creating decay.
If you’re an expectant mother in Arizona, it’s vital you see your dentist! If you live in or near the Valley, you can choose your dentist today!