Findings in dental studies over the years have proven the importance oral health has in regard to a person's well-being. It has also been revealed that pregnant women are not only putting their own health at risk when neglecting dental care, they endanger the wellness of their baby as well.
What can happen to the teeth of a pregnant woman?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. A New Smile Dental Center revealed that an estimated 40 percent of pregnant women have some form of periodontal disease. Certain hormones cause gums to become sensitive during pregnancy, and the gums become inflamed due to contact with bacteria along the gum line. Women with periodontal disease are also seven times more likely to give birth to a baby that is born too early or too small.
Another, less serious ailment prone to pregnant woman is what is called a pregnant tumor on the gums. This bump can become red, pink or purple, but it usually does not cause any problems. However, it is advisable to let the dentist know about it, in case it is something more serious.
Apart from dental care having an effect on pregnancy, being pregnant can also affect teeth. Repeated morning sickness can cause stomach acid to come in contact with teeth, which may lead to tooth decay. It is always advisable to rinse the mouth after vomiting.
If a woman is receiving dental care while pregnant, she should first and foremost let her dentist know she is with child. According to WebMD, it is not advisable to visit the dentist for elective dental procedures during the first and second trimester. Routine check-ups are not to be avoided, however, and they are actually encouraged because of the unique sensitivity pregnancy brings to the gums. Pregnant women who are in financial need or who have no dental insurance should look into ways to minimize dental costs, like discount dental plans.
It would behoove an expecting mother to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. Since the baby's first teeth form after three months, the mother's diet could affect the baby's teeth. If gum issues do occur during pregnancy, it is highly advisable that the mother visit the dentist very soon after having her child.
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