Pregnancy and Oral Health 

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Did you know women are more susceptible to oral health problems, especially during pregnancy? 

This happens because of the unique hormonal changes they experience during this stage of their life. Hormones affect the supply of blood to the gum tissue, and they also affect the body’s response to plaque. 

Pregnancy is a very important time for a woman, and expecting mothers should take extra precautions various aspects of life, including oral health. 

It is extremely important to practice good oral health skills during pregnancy because poor oral health may affect the health of the baby. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy affect the way the body responds to bacteria and plaque. This, in turn, increases the risk of gingivitis and other oral health issues. 

Although an expecting mother may want to make regular dentist visits, it is important to avoid dental treatments during the first and second half of the third trimester because these are critical times in the baby’s development. It is best to receive professional dental care from the 4th to 6th month of pregnancy because the baby is most stable during these times. 

During pregnancy a woman also has a greater risk of periodontal disease. This is when plaque, with time, spreads and grows below the gum line. The body then turns on itself because the toxins caused by plaque stimulate a chronic inflammatory response.  

When this occurs, the tissues and bones that support the teeth become broken down and are eventually destroyed. 

Because of these increased risks it is more important for an expecting mother to pay extra attention to oral health care during this stage of their life. Easy tips to maintain good oral health and reduce risk of oral health problems are: 

  • Brush teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night 
  • Use toothpaste that contains fluoride 
  • Avoid sugary and starchy snacks – if these are consumed, try to brush teeth immediately afterward 
  • Eat a well-balanced diet (visit this website to learn more about well-balanced diets
  • Floss regularly – at least once a day to help decrease plaque build-up