We all know how important it is to be healthy before you become pregnant. Being in optimal health before you become pregnant increases your chance of having a healthy pregnancy and delivering a healthy baby to term. This may include getting to a healthy weight (losing weight if you are overweight or gaining weight if you are under weight, getting your blood pressure under control, managing your stress, getting the appropriate amount of rest and cleaning up your diet.
However, you may not realize the importance of achieving optimal dental health before you become pregnant. Studies have shown that having healthy teeth and gums lessens the chance of preterm birth and of having a baby with a low birth weight. Before you become pregnant, it is vitally important that you visit your dentist regularly for routine dental cleanings and exams. During these routine dental checkups, your dentist can look for any signs of decay, infection or gum disease. Then, if any problems are detected, you can get the appropriate treatment, before you become pregnant.
Once you become pregnant, it is also important for you to closely monitor your dental health. The hormonal changes that come with pregnancy can make you more at risk for Gingivitis, a mild form of periodontal disease. Signs of Gingivitis include gums that are red and swollen or bleed easily. To prevent the development of Gingivitis, your dentist may recommend that you come in more frequently for routine cleanings and checkups throughout your pregnancy.
If you are planning on becoming pregnant in the near future, it may be a good idea to go ahead and schedule an appointment with your dentist now so that he or she can make sure that you are in optimal dental health before you become pregnant. If you are already pregnant and are experiencing any signs of Gingivitis, you should see your dentist for treatment immediately.