Pregnancy is a time of elation and anticipation. It’s a time of preparing for a brand new life to join a family for the very first time. Whether it is a woman’s first pregnancy or her third, a new baby on the way is an exciting time. While most women are happy to share the news of an upcoming delivery with friends and family, and they make prenatal appointments a priority, there is another priority that needs to be at the top of the list: a visit to the dentist. The mouth is the gateway to the entire body, allowing food and nourishment that are needed on a daily basis to enter the body and supply energy and life. The mouth is also home to millions of bacteria on any given day, and any concern within the mouth need to be treated with prompt attention during pregnancy. Oral concerns that are left untreated are especially dangerous to a pregnant woman’s health and the health of her growing baby.
Hormonal changes in a woman’s body often affect her mouth. This is why some women have a funny taste in their mouths or tender gums during their menstrual cycles. However, during pregnancy, huge fluctuations of hormones over a nine month period leave the mouth vulnerable to infection. The same hormones that are responsible for the development of the placenta also have an impact on the gum tissues within the mouth. These hormones can cause the gums to become tender, bleed easily, become easily irritated, and have a decreased immune response.
Because the body is connected by a single blood supply that runs throughout the body on a continual basis, any infection found inside the mouth can easily be transferred to the uterus and a woman’s growing baby. The huge impact of this comes by understanding that gum disease has a direct impact on a pregnant woman and her pregnancy. Gum disease has been directly linked to the following:
- Preterm labor
- Low birthweight babies
Understanding the significant effects that oral health care has on pregnancy can help women make their oral health a priority. It also allows women to pay attention to any signs of change in their mouths so that they can bring it to their dentist’s attention.
At Meadowbrook Family Dental, we offer exceptional dentistry to all patients, including expecting mothers. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Posted on behalf of Meadowbrook Family Dental