Pregnancy and Your Teeth
Something as simple as a thorough teeth cleaning may reduce premature birth rates. According to a University of Alabama study, gum disease can cause babies to be born too soon and too small. Babies born too early are at a significant risk of developing serious and lasting health problems. Baby Your Baby recommends that all pregnant women should get their teeth cleaned during the second trimester of their pregnancy.
Alabama’s study shows that getting teeth cleaned during the second trimester of pregnancy can make a difference in healthy births and pregnancies. One of the theories is that the bacteria associated with gum disease produces a hormone that is thought to begin contractions.
To take advantage of this new information and in order to help all pregnant women, Baby Your Baby recommends the following:
- Pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant should have a dental check-up. This should include an evaluation of the gums.
- Patients should receive education on how to keep their mouths healthy. They should learn about how gum infection can affect their pregnancy.
- Dentists and physicians should coordinate care especially when gum disease is diagnosed.
- Physicians should make referrals for dental care during pregnancy.
- Treatment of gum disease, which includes a thorough teeth cleaning, may be most effective between 22 to 26 weeks of pregnancy.
Is it okay to go to the dentist when I’m pregnant?
Yes, it is safe and healthy for a pregnant woman to have a dental check-up. The second trimester may be the best time to go to the dentist. Be sure to tell the dentist that you are pregnant and they will take all the necessary precautions for you and your baby.
It is a myth that a woman loses a tooth with every pregnancy. Your baby doesn’t take the calcium from your teeth. A different diet, extensive morning sickness, or a lack of home care or professional treatment during pregnancy may all lead to more cavities while you are pregnant. Therefore, it’s important to be especially thorough in your daily home care. This is also something to discuss with your dental health care professional.