Studies have shown that nearly half of pregnant women in the U.S don’t visit their dentist during pregnancy. It’s important to know that a mother’s oral health can have adverse effects on the overall health of the unborn baby. Many changes occur during pregnancy, and therefore, it is important for pregnant women visit their preventive dentist to learn about the changes that occur in their oral cavities during this period.
More than half of pregnant women develop gingivitis, an early onset of periodontal disease which results when the gums become red and swollen. Pregnancy gingivitis may be aggravated by the rapid hormonal changes in the body. If pregnancy gingivitis is not treated, it can cause infection on the gums and loss of the bone that supports teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. Pregnancy gingivitis progresses with pregnancy and becomes worse in the third trimester.
Pregnancy may also cause the bone and the ligaments supporting teeth to loosen, which results in tooth mobility. Tooth mobility may not cause tooth loss unless there are other complications.
Dental cavities may develop during pregnancy due to the increased acidity in the mouth. Dental caries may also occur to changes in eating habits during pregnancy. It’s essential to note that most mothers with a lot of cavity-causing bacteria can pass them to their children leading early childhood dental cavities.
Pregnant women are also prone to tooth erosion caused by the presence of excess in the mouth due to vomiting, hyperemesis, and gastric reflux. Rinsing the mouth with baking soda solution after vomiting can help in neutralizing the acid in the mouth.
If pregnancy gingivitis is left unattended, it can progress to periodontitis. Besides causing tooth loss, periodontitis can lead to low birth weight and preterm birth. Periodontitis can have adverse health effects on your child.
How to prevent dental health problems during pregnancy
The best way to prevent dental problems during pregnancy is by visiting a preventive dentist in Mesa, Arizona, regularly. It’s essential to note that it is safe to visit a dentist during pregnancy. On top of flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, make sure to visit your dentist every three months.
If the dentist notices any signs of oral disease, they may recommend additional measures to help control the problem. During your visits, a dentist may also recommend certain foods that can help to improve your oral health.