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Mothers-to-be: Check your teeth
Updated: 3/18/2008 5:05:28 PM

Studies have shown that taking care of teeth and gums becomes especially important for expectant mothers, as pregnant women with gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, are approximately seven times more likely to deliver a premature, low birth-weight baby.

The reason why pregnancy can cause problems in a woman's teeth and gums is that the increase in hormones and increased blood flow can cause teeth and gums that are slightly unclean or inflamed to become even more sensitive or even to bleed.

And with so many people having some form of gingivitis or even periodontal disease, the advanced stage of inflammation in the gums, women who are pregnant or who may want to become pregnant in the future should schedule regular visits to the dentist and take proper care of their teeth each day to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

According to the book What to Expect When You're Expecting, simple precautions such as taking Vitamin C and daily calcium supplements to ensure healthy teeth and gums can help prepare teeth for the future.

Special precautions may need to be taken for some mothers-to-be however, as potential dental infections in the mouth could require medication and could have complications during birth if not managed properly.

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