What to expect when expecting
There are changes that may occur to oral health during pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, particularly increase in estrogen and progesterone, which exaggerate gum tissue reaction to plaque.
Pregnant women may develop gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gum. Inflamed gum bleeds easily and may be tender. If left untreated, gingivitis may quickly progress and develop periodontal (gum) disease and result in damages to supporting tissues that hold teeth in place.
Studies have concluded that pregnant women who have periodontal disease or any other kind of oral infection may be more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. Infections are a major concern among pregnant women because they pose a risk to the health of the baby.
Research shows that oral health directly affect overall health, so it is important for expecting mothers to maintain a very good oral hygiene and visit their dentist for proper assessment and monitoring of their oral condition.
Good oral hygiene consist of thorough brushing and flossing after each meal. This is particularly important for pregnant women who snack more often. Food particles left in the mouth build plaque, a sticky layer of bacteria on teeth and around the gum tissue. These bacteria convert sugar and starch to acid that attacks tooth enamel, causing tooth decay.
It is quite important for expecting mothers to remember that their dental infection can be harmful to them and their baby. Be sure to maintain a healthy oral condition all through pregnancy and consult your dentist about any changes in your oral health during pregnancy.