Pregnancy is a time of great anticipation. It is also a time that brings extra responsibilities in terms of taking care of your body. You are not only thinking about “just you,” but you are now responsible for making decisions that affect another life growing inside your body. While it is easy to make decisions regarding what you put inside your body and keeping up with prenatal appointments, you must also understand the importance of oral health during pregnancy. Dental issues such as gum disease can cause serious complications like premature birth and low-birth weight.
Hormones are complicated chemicals inside every human body. Women tend to experience much more dramatic hormonal shifts than men, and there is no other time where these shifts are more prevalent than during pregnancy. Yet, it is essential to understand that hormones affect more than your emotional state. Hormone fluctuation makes an expectant woman’s gums more susceptible to gingivitis and gum disease, which can do more than lead to obstacles with your smile.
Gum disease is an infection that occurs within the soft tissues of the mouth. The gums support the teeth and protect the roots of the teeth. It is vital to remember that every area inside your mouth, including each tooth, is a living feature of the human body. The human body is an intricate machine that depends on the health of every area to function properly as a whole.
The gum tissues and each tooth are connected to the main bloodline of the body. If an infection occurs within the mouth, it can easily spread via the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Therefore, even minor gum disease has the potential to endanger the health and growth of the baby within your womb.
Gum disease is an infection within the mouth’s soft tissues caused by bacteria and plaque accumulating along the gum line. When not removed by flossing and brushing regularly, bacteria will irritate the gums until they are inflamed. If this is not treated, inflammation will lead to infection and systemic health complications.
Don’t neglect your oral health during pregnancy! It is safe to visit the dentist while pregnant, and it is essential that you do so. Approximately 60 – 75% of women experience mild gingivitis during pregnancy, so it is important that you make oral health care a priority. While you are making healthy decisions regarding what you eat and drink, don’t forget to make (and keep!) your dental appointments.
To learn more about the importance of oral health care during pregnancy, contact Marietta OB/GYN Affiliates, P.A. today. We are committed to helping women take an active role in their pregnancy health.