When a woman is pregnant, her body will undergo drastic changes that affect every aspect of her health. One of the biggest changes, however, is to her oral health. Good oral health during pregnancy will not only help the mother maintain a beautiful smile, but it will also help prevent cavities in children.
Importance of Good Oral Health During Pregnancy
Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease
Pregnancy causes women to become more susceptible to developing cavities and gum diseases. Good oral health during pregnancy can improve outcomes for both the infant and mother. As a result it is an important part of prenatal care. As much as 3/4ths of all pregnant women will develop gingivitis. The symptoms are swollen red gums that may bleed during regular brushing. The onset of gingivitis, which is the early stage of periodontal disease, is triggered by the hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy.
If this is not treated early on, the bones supporting the teeth can degrade and the gums may also develop infections. The longer the condition is left untreated, the more it is likely that tooth loss will occur. In some cases, poor oral health during pregnancy can lead to low birth weights and early labor.
Pregnancy & Cavities
Pregnant women at an increased risk of developing cavities due to hormonal changes and the changes to their eating habits. Cavities are caused by bacteria, and they can even travel to the infant’s mouth after birth if not properly cared for quickly. Bacteria from the mother paired with sleeping with a bottle can further lead to early cavities in infants. When an infant has a mother who has cavities, they are more likely to develop them as well. In addition, those children are more likely to miss more school days due to dental appointments and tooth pain.
Mind Your Grinding
Grinding the teeth is one of the worst things a person can do. Not only does it wear down the enamel, but it also causes strain on the muscles in the mouth. Pregnant women and new mothers are at a high risk of teeth grinding. There is a high concentration of tension in the head and neck muscles which can cause her to grind her teeth. Following birth, bruxism can be caused by a lack of sleep, stress, or even due to post-partum medications. When paired with the common problem of dehydration that mothers face, cavities and gingivitis are not far behind.
Proper Oral Health Through Self-Care
Caring for yourself during pregnancy is critical. Most pregnant women spend more time focusing on the health and development of their babies that they often neglect their own care. Instead of brushing twice daily, many pregnant women only do so once a day, or may not even remember at all. This can cause oral health issues such as cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health concerns. Maintaining your oral health routine during pregnancy will reduce your chances of more serious tooth problems later down the line.
Nutritional Lacking & Pregnancy
A lack of vitamin K or vitamin C can result in bleeding gums. Many pregnant women will have an imbalance of nutrients such as vitamin K and vitamin C that can trigger poor gum health. The hormone fluctuations experienced during pregnancy also cause the gums to bleed and the mouth to become more sensitive. In most cases, this nutritional imbalance will resolve following the birth of the child, but if it becomes serious, your doctor can recommend a supplement.
Morning sickness can also play a big role in a pregnant woman’s oral health. In the first trimester, many women will experience frequent vomiting. The acids in a person’s stomach are harmful to the enamel of the teeth so frequent vomiting can cause cavities, bad breath, and other oral health problems. Regular brushing is the best way to reduce the side effects of morning sickness on the teeth as well as to help prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.
Strong Teeth, Happy Pregnancy
Maintain a healthy diet will help keep the teeth and the bones strong during pregnancy. Get in plenty of natural calcium from green leafy vegetables, fresh cheese, yogurt, and milk. Make sure to continue to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups during your pregnancy to catch any oral health problems before they get worse.
Regency Family Dentistry Omaha | Best Omaha Dentist near Westroads Mall in Regency
Whether your teeth needs are a:
- complete exam and cleaning,
- full-mouth restoration
- or anything in between
We promise to provide you with exceptional care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile. Below are just some of the many procedures and dental services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch, and stunning results. Your smile is our first priority, and we’ll give you something to smile about.
- Dental Exams
- Dental Cleanings
- Oral Cancer Exam
- Fluoride Treatment
- Dental X-Rays
- Home Care
- Nightguards & Mouthguards
- Dental Implants
- Composite Fillings
- Porcelain Crowns
- FixedPorcelain Bridges
- Porcelain Veneers
- Tooth Whitening
- What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
- Dental Implants
- Inlay Restorations
- Onlay Restorations
- Composite Fillings
- Dentures & Partial Dentures
- Fixed Bridges
- Root Canal Therapy
- Wisdom Teeth Extractions