Why Dental Care During Pregnancy is Essential

Stock Family Photo St Paul MN dentistFirst of all, let us offer you our sincerest congratulations! We know that expecting a new baby in your life is very exciting and a little bit chaotic! After all, you have a lot of things to prepare for, worry about, and try to enjoy over the next several months. Being pregnant is usually a great joy for most women, and we hope you can focus on that joy above all else!

During pregnancy, it won’t take long for you to find out that everyone has advice on EVERY topic. There are so many things that you can hear, do, and interpret that things get overwhelming very quickly! You don’t want to be caught doing the wrong thing for your baby, but the bombardment of information might make you shut down after a while.

There is one piece of advice, however, that really can have a huge impact on your baby’s health and future, and that’s the way that you care for your teeth. We know, that seems far-fetched, but it is true! Research supports the fact that pregnant women should see their dentist at least once during pregnancy.

What do My Teeth have to do with My Baby?

Of course we will be doing a cleaning of your teeth and checking for signs of decay during your appointment, but that’s not the reason we need to see you. We need to see you to check for signs of gum disease infection. Gum disease occurs when bacteria works below the gumline to weaken your bone structure.

The bacteria can travel throughout the body and wreak havoc in many areas of your health, but pregnant women as especially susceptible because gum disease infections are linked with preterm labor and low birth weight babies.

My Gums? Really?

At any moment, we are all susceptible to gum disease infections. In fact, more than 80% of us have some level or form of gum disease infection right now! Most of these cases are very minor and can be removed completely during your next cleaning, but women who are pregnant are at a higher risk for infection due to the sudden changes in hormones.

You see, your hormones are controlling just about everything in your body. When you are pregnant, those hormones go into overdrive, which can leave your gums susceptible to infection. You might also notice that your gums are sore or bleed when you brush. We refer to this as pregnancy gingivitis.

These cases of pregnancy gingivitis can remain very minor, but in some cases, women will develop serious problems throughout pregnancy resulting in the need for extensive care. As you probably already guessed, it is difficult to complete that care while also keeping a woman safe from anesthesia and medications that could harm the baby.

How Do I Avoid This?

Just because you are pregnant does not mean that you are doomed! Things are in your hands entirely. By practicing great oral hygiene habits at home and maintaining your routine appointments in the office, you can rest easy knowing that your smile will be in great shape when you welcome your sweet baby to the world.

Be sure that you brush at least twice each day, and make flossing a priority, even if you’ve never done it before! You might also consider using an antibacterial rinse to keep your mouth free from infection during these precious nine months!

Contact us today to set up your cleaning and exam. We would love to see you very soon and help you have the best pregnancy possible! We can’t wait to see you soon.