A recent Delta Dental survey found that 42.5 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. did not visit a dentist during their pregnancy. This is not a good thing especially given that studies show that pregnant women with severe gum disease have seven times the risk of delivering a low-birthweight baby. The National Institutes of Health reports that as many as 18 percent of the 250,000 premature low-weight infants born in the U.S. may be the result of inflammatory gum disease.
Pregnancy can be a stressful time but it is more important than ever to take care of your mouth and teeth. Here are some things to watch for if you are pregnant:
Tooth decay—Increased acidity in the mouth increases the risk of tooth decay. Vomiting during pregnancy exposes the teeth to even more gastric acid.
Loose teeth—Increased levels of progesterone and estrogen can affect the ligaments and bones that support the teeth, causing teeth to loosen, even in the absence of gum disease.
Gum disease—The hormonal changes of pregnancy can lead to gingivitis, an inflammation of the superficial gum tissue. Left untreated, severe gum disease may be associated with preterm birth and low birth weight.
Some things you can do to maintain your oral health during pregnancy:
- Pay particular attention to your teeth and gums. The changing hormone levels that occur with pregnancy can exaggerate some dental problems.
- Practice good, basic oral care. Use a soft bristled toothbrush. Floss regularly. Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.
- If you have morning sickness, rinse your mouth with a solution of baking soda and water after vomiting. Mix one teaspoon baking soda in one cup water.
- Schedule a dental exam at the beginning of your pregnancy to treat any dental problems early.
- Keep your regular dental appointments and be sure to call us if you develop a dental problem or have questions or concerns about your oral health.
If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.