As any mom knows, the body can go through a lot of changes during pregnancy, from changes in hormones to fluid retention and swelling. But did you know that pregnancy can also affect mom’s oral health, as well as the health of your baby? Join your pediatric dentist in Olathe as we share how pregnancy affects your teeth and why regular dental care is so important, especially while pregnant.
Your Pregnancy & Your Teeth
Some women can develop dental problems during pregnancy. These problems are most often due to changes in hormones but can also be caused by morning sickness, increased cravings for sugary sweets, and sensitivity to gagging while brushing. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these can affect your teeth.
- Hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy can increase mom-to-be’s chances of developing gum disease. Even though most cases of pregnancy-related gum disease resolve on their own, it’s important to see your dentist if symptoms of gum disease remain after giving birth. If not treated, gum disease can lead to other problems throughout the body. Some symptoms of gum disease include swollen, red, and bleeding gums.
- Morning sickness is the common way to explain vomiting during pregnancy despite the fact that morning sickness can happen at any time of the day. This repeated vomiting exposes teeth to damaging stomach acids which can wear away enamel and increase the risk of decay.
- Food cravings during pregnancy is another thing that can affect teeth. While some women will crave unusual foods, others will want to eat traditional food choices. However, if these cravings are for sugary sweets, it can lead to cavities.
- Gagging with brushing your teeth is also something that affects many pregnant women. However, your pediatric dentist in Olathe wants you to know that it’s still absolutely crucial to brush and floss your teeth every day. Brushing your teeth using a smaller toothbrush or brushing more slowly can help.
Your Oral Health & Your Baby
Your pediatric dentist in Olathe is committed to caring for your baby’s teeth and overall health, and the truth is, sometimes that means doing what we can to make sure that mom takes care of her oral health during pregnancy. In fact, studies show a correlation between pregnant women who have gum disease and low birth weight or premature babies, both of which can put babies at increased risk for other health problems. While gum disease can, and should, be treated during pregnancy, it’s always recommended that you try to resolve any active infection prior to getting pregnant.
The best way to protect your teeth and your developing baby during pregnancy is to take care of your oral health. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and see your dentist regularly, including while pregnant. And once your baby arrives, make sure he sees his pediatric dentist in Olathe no later than his first birthday. Early dental visits help set your child up for a lifetime of good dental health.
Accepting patients from Johnson County and the entire Kansas City area at all of our pediatric dental offices in Overland Park, Prairie Village, Olathe, and Kansas City.