5 Reasons Proper Oral Health Is Important During Pregnancy

Hormonal changes throughout your pregnancy can result in a decline of oral health. Proper oral health is important throughout your pregnancy to guarantee healthy teeth and gums. No matter the stage in your pregnancy, there are five vital reasons your oral health is important during your pregnancy.

1. Prevent a Pre-Term Baby

Research has suggested that a link exists between a mother having gingivitis and a baby being born low in birth weight or pre-term. Harmful bacteria enter your bloodstream through your gums and travel directly to your uterus, thus affecting your unborn baby.

2. Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease is prevalent throughout pregnancy and can happen quickly. When gum disease does occur, you may experience:

  • Irritation
  • Pain
  • Tooth loss
  • Bleeding
  • Receding gum lines

Proper oral care, which includes regular dental checkups, brushing, and flossing, can prevent gum disease from occurring or progressing throughout your pregnancy.

3. Prevent Tumors

Oral tumors can arise in the mouth throughout pregnancy if your teeth are not properly cared for. Due to a buildup of plaque, oral tumors form and are purple or red in color. Oral tumors are not dangerous and will disappear, typically in the second or third trimester.

When the tumors are severe and cause bleeding or pain, your dentist may suggest that they are surgically removed.

4. Prevent Tooth Erosion

One of the side effects of pregnancy is morning sickness and along with morning sickness comes teeth erosion. The acid in your mouth caused by vomiting eats away at the enamel on your teeth leaving your teeth brittle.

A great way to neutralize the acid present in your mouth after vomiting is to rinse your mouth out with a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda and one cup of water. After the mouth has been rinsed out, and the acid neutralized, teeth can then be brushed to prevent any enamel erosion. 

5. Prevent Cavities

Cavities are a common oral concern in pregnant women. Due to higher levels of acid in the mouth, pregnant women experience cavities when brushing and flossing does not occur.

You can prevent common pregnancy-related oral concerns by maintaining a good oral care routine. Your dental routine should include brushing at least twice a day and flossing your teeth after meals. It is important that all plaque and buildup be removed completely from your teeth to avoid irritation and the development of gum disease.

Dental checkups are recommended throughout your pregnancy. With proper oral care and professional dental exams, your dentist (like those at Tamarack Hills Family Dentistry) can catch oral problems early and reverse damage done.