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Posted by Brian on Dec 15, 2014

Dental Health During Pregnancy

Dental health plays an important role in general overall health, much more so for pregnant women. Numerous studies and researches have already determined the link between dental health and heart disease and infections. Gum infections can travel through the blood stream and affect the heart and other important organs, and for pregnant mothers this could be a very dangerous complication.

Pregnant mothers can develop variety of dental problems, or if they already have them the condition can worsen. During pregnancy, a woman’s dental health changes because of the hormonal surge (specifically progesterone and estrogen) that can heighten how the gum tissues react to plaque and infections. An already existing gingivitis can worsen, and if neglected can lead to periodontitis (severe gum disease). Furthermore, pregnant women can develop what is called pregnancy tumors. These are inflamed but non-cancerous tumors that can cause discomfort and hinder eating, brushing, and other oral care procedures. Although they usually shrink away by themselves after the baby’s birth, but if they interfere with everyday activities, the dentist can decide to have them removed.

Research has established a link between gingivitis and low-birthweight and pre-term babies. Excessive bacteria that can reach the uterus can prompt the production of certain chemical called prostaglandins suspected to cause premature labor. In order to avoid complicating your dental health while pregnant, you should inform your doctor and dentist about your pregnancy; provide information on the medications and dosages that you are taking so that they can alter your dental care plan according to your needs. Avoid skipping your dental appointments – hormonal changes increases the risks of dental complications, therefore keeping a good dental hygiene regimen could keep dental issues at bay. Consult your dentist if you are planning to get pregnant and keep regular dental checkups, especially during your first trimester.

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