Spokane Family Dentist Discusses How Pregnancy Affects Oral Health

Written by Dr. Collins on May 1, 2012

It is very common for women to experience an increase in dental problems during pregnancy. You may have heard the old saying, “A tooth lost for every child.” While it may seem far-fetched, it actually has some basis in fact. Your body is going through significant hormonal changes that will also affect your teeth and gums. At Spokane, Cheney Family Dentist office we know that the health of your gums can possibly affect the health of your unborn child.

How Pregnancy Affects Teeth and Gums
‘Pregnancy Gingivitis’ affects about half of all women who become pregnant. This condition can cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. A more serious condition, periodontal disease (a serious gum infection), may affect the health of your baby.

Periodontal Disease and Preterm or Low Birth-Weight Babies

Studies have suggested that a possible relationship exists between periodontal disease and preterm, low birth weight babies. While research in this area is still inconclusive, there is sufficient reason to believe that pregnant women with periodontal disease may have a potential to have a baby born too early and too small. We strongly believe that maintaining periodontal health during pregnancy is a wise precaution in any event.

Steps you can take to Avoid Periodontal Disease
Obviously, a lifelong routine of proper oral hygiene, regular dental exams and cleanings at our Spokane Family Dental Office are the best preventative for gum disease whether you plan to become pregnant or not. Once you do become pregnant, be sure to advise your dental professional immediately and make an appointment for a dental cleaning early in your pregnancy. This enables us to monitor your oral health for any adverse changes. It is also wise to plan this early on as sitting in a dentist’s chair can become uncomfortable later in pregnancy.

Hormonal changes cause an increase in plague production which can lead to decay. If you are not already doing so, be sure that you are following a diligent at-home oral hygiene routine, brushing after meals, flossing twice a day and avoiding sweets (or at least brushing immediately after).