Dental Care During Pregnancy
It is important for pregnant women to maintain good oral health during their pregnancy. Studies have shown a link between serious gum disease (periodontitis), premature birth and low birth weight infants.
Did you know?
66% of mothers reported that their prenatal health care providers did not tell them about the importance of getting regular dental care during their most recent pregnancy.
63% of mothers reported that they did NOT go to a dentist or dental clinic for routine dental care during their most recent pregnancy.
50% of mothers who did not get dental care during their pregnancy reported that they didn’t have enough money or insurance to pay for the visit.
Oral Health Care During Pregnancy:
It is important for pregnant women to maintain good oral health and seek timely treatment for dental problems for these reasons:
Pregnancy and Oral Health
- Pregnancy increases the risk for certain oral diseases (e.g., gingivitis).
- Bacteria that cause dental decay can be transmitted from mother to infant during feeding.
- Recent research suggests an association between maternal periodontitis and having a low birth weight baby.
Oral health is important during pregnancy and should not be neglected.
The following facts will help improve your oral health during your pregnancy.
Nutrition is very important during pregnancy because your baby gets nutrients from you. By eating right, you can start caring for your teeth and your baby’s teeth as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Be sure to eat foods with calcium and Vitamin D every day. Your doctor can give you advice on how to eat well during pregnancy.
Some women have dental problems during pregnancy. Hormone changes can make your gums sore and swollen and cause bleeding. In most women this can be prevented by brushing and flossing the teeth daily.
Some women develop a “pregnancy tumor” on their gums. This is a painless bump which can be pink, red or purple. It will usually not cause any problems, but care should be taken to keep the area around the tumor clean. See your dentist if you think you may have this problem.
Many women have food cravings during pregnancy. Snacks should be healthy and contain low or no sugar. Plan to eat sweets at the end of a meal instead of between meals.
It is important to see your dentist during your pregnancy to prevent dental problems. Be sure to make a dental appointment before your baby is born. After birth, it may be many months before you will able to find the time for an appointment.
If you need to have urgent dental care during your pregnancy, you may need to have some X-rays taken of your teeth. Always be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant. Care should be taken to limit or avoid nitrous oxide, some prescribed antibiotics and some pain medications. Your dentist can call your doctor with any questions.