A lot is going on in your body when you’re pregnant. After all, you’re now dealing with the health of two. And while the overall wellbeing of you and your child is the most critical issue, it’s essential not to neglect other parts of your health – including oral health. In fact, expecting mothers can experience some rather unique dental issues during their pregnancy that they should not ignore.

During pregnancy, visiting your dentist and maintaining regularly appointed checkups is safe, especially if you have had recent dental work completed. Expectant mothers in the Long Beach area are treated with the utmost care when they visit Dr. Stephen A Coates before, during, and post-pregnancy to ensure their oral health remains in good standing.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

A mother’s oral health will impact their child’s oral health. Many dentists recommend planning a checkup with them upon learning of a pregnancy and then scheduling a follow-up six months in. During that period, it’s crucial to:

  • Brush and floss your teeth morning and night, or after every meal if you’d like to go the extra mile
  • Use mouthwash daily (preferably non-alcoholic mouthwash) for additional cleansing
  • Drink water after snacks and sugary treats to help wash away the acids and sugars that stick to your teeth

Does Pregnancy Impact Oral Health?

In some cases, pregnancy can have adverse effects on oral health. These effects stem from changes in the body’s hormones. Some common oral health problems that can occur during pregnancy include:

  • Being at risk for gum disease, including gingivitis
  • Increased tooth decay because of acid induced by morning sickness and vomiting
  • Swollen, inflamed, bleeding, and painful gums
  • Bad breath

The good news is that many women experience no changes to their oral health. But if any of these do occur, contact your dentist immediately.

Can Poor Oral Health Affect a Fetus?

While research is still ongoing to provide definitive conclusions on this connection, some preliminary results have shown that pregnant women with gum disease may be at a greater risk of premature birth or having a child below ideal weight.

Pregnancy, Cavities, and Gingivitis

Cavities occur more frequently with expectant mothers. This is because the mouth tends to hold onto more cavity-causing bacteria during pregnancy due to a mixture of changes in eating habits and hormonal changes. While cravings often occur during pregnancy, foods that are heavily processed or contain lots of sugar can damage teeth and gums without proper care.

Studies have also shown that 60-75% of pregnant mothers have gingivitis. Gingivitis indicates an early sign of periodontal disease that impacts the gums. When left untreated, the gums become infected and damage the teeth. Eventually, the teeth may fall out or break.

This is why it’s important to drink water to wash away the acids and sugars sticking to your teeth and it’s more important than ever to brush and floss daily.

Are You Concerned About Maintaining Your Oral Health During Pregnancy?

Don’t worry! Dr. Stephen Coates is here to help ensure your teeth and oral health is good for you and your child. Contact our Long Beach dental office today to schedule your appointment.