It’s hard to believe that dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease can impact your pregnancy, but research has confirmed a link between problems in your mouth and the premature birth or low weight in a new born.
Dental Disease Can Affect Developing Baby
A mother’s oral health is linked to the health of her unborn baby. If a pregnant woman has an excessive amount of bacteria growth in her mouth, it may enter the bloodstream through her gums and travel to the uterus. This can trigger certain bodily chemicals that can induce premature labour.
Research shows a link between premature babies with a low birth weight and gum disease while pregnant. Premature babies have a higher risk of experiencing serious health conditions. It estimated that severe gum infections trigger 18 out of 100 premature births.
Immediately after birth, it is also possible for you to pass oral bacteria onto the new born. To avoid vertical transmission from occurring make sure your mouth is free from acid-loving bacteria.
Importance Of Pre-Pregnancy Dental Health
You are less likely to have dental issues during pregnancy if you have proper oral hygiene habits pre-pregnancy. Good oral hygiene habits including brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing, and using mouthwash once daily, and visiting your dentist bi-yearly can ensure you begin your pregnancy with a healthy mouth.
Reasons For Dental Health Problems During Pregnancy
Pregnancy hormones can increase your likelihood of developing gum sensitivity and dental issues. Your dentist may suggest more frequent cleanings while you are pregnant. Some common problems include:
- During pregnancy high levels of the hormone progesterone can cause gingivitis. Gingivitis has symptoms of red, swollen, and sore gums. If gingivitis remains untreated, it can become a more severe gum disease called periodontitis.
- High levels of progesterone during pregnancy can also affect the tissue and bones that help keep your teeth in place, causing teeth to become loose.
- Non-cancerous tumours can form on swollen gums caused by having too much hardened plaque. These tumours can cause bleeding. They typically go away on their own, but some may have to be removed post-pregnancy.
- Morning sickness can increase the acidity levels in your mouth and erode tooth enamel.
Tackle Dental Problems With A Healthy Diet
Healthy foods like fruits and vegetables can remove plaque from the surface of your teeth to help keep them healthy. Eating healthy meals and snacks can also provide your growing baby with important nutrients. Your baby’s teeth will start forming between three and six months of pregnancy. Calcium, protein, and vitamins A, C, and D can help both you and your baby’s teeth be strong.
Cravings are unavoidable when you are pregnant but try to limit sugary and starchy snacks. Eating foods with a high sugar content can cause tooth decay and exacerbate gum sensitivity issues you may be experiencing.
Tell Your Dentist If You Are Pregnant
Even if you only think you might be pregnant let your dentist know. When making an appointment, it is important to tell them how far along in the pregnancy you are. Your dentist also needs to know about medications or vitamins and special advice from your physician regarding your pregnancy. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, some oral treatments will have to be postponed until after your baby is born.
If you have a pregnancy planned, but also have elective dental procedures scheduled, it is essential to talk to your private dentist in Derby. Your dentist may recommend complete elective procedures like teeth whitening before you become pregnant or wait until after your delivery.
If you need dental treatment during pregnancy, and it is not urgent, it may be performed after the first trimester and your morning sickness subsides.
Where To Get Emergency Dental Help
While pregnant, if you have any dental emergency, call your dentist immediately. If your emergency cannot wait, go to the nearest A & E department – also known as the emergency department.
Always keep your dentist and obstetrician informed about your overall and oral health while you are pregnant to ensure your pregnancy is as comfortable and healthy as possible.
Hilton Dental Care is an emergency dentist in Derby, England, conveniently close to both Derby and Burton upon Trent. The practice is fully private and offers routine check-ups, cosmetic procedures, teeth straightening, facial aesthetics and emergency dental care. Follow us on Facebook.