Dental Health + Pregnancy: Why Skipping Visits Really IS That Big of a Deal

pregnant

In the beginning of June, we spoke a bit about the negative impact that osteoporosis can have on oral health in Women’s Health & Oral Care: Two Things That You Should Know and now we wanted to focus the significance of dental visits for pregnant women.

A recent study by Delta Dental found that “nearly 4 out of 10 American mothers neglect to visit a dentist during pregnancy”. That is a pretty shocking statistic. And you might not be clutching your pearls at this news, but it is news-worthy for a reason. Or five.

Here they are:

Pregnancy affects more than just your tummy (obviously). Whether or not you have given birth before, you probably know that pregnancy influences your entire body.  However, you would probably be surprised to discover just how important taking care of your teeth is during pregnancy. For proof, take this Fact-or-Fiction quiz from the American Dental Association’s MouthHealth.org!

Cravings often mean more sugary snacks. We don’t even need to explain why this is bad for your teeth, right?

Neglecting your smile for many, many months at a time can allow small, treatable issues to grow into severe oral health problems. We know we say this often, but we know from experience that it is cheaper, easier and less painful to treat patients in the early stages of nearly any dental problem. And does anyone EVER want to go the more expensive, more complicated and more painful route when it comes to dental care? Nope.

Pregnancy can wreak havoc on your gums. As eyebrow-raising as this claim may sound, it’s true. This stems from the fact that pregnancy hormones can exaggerate the way gum tissue reacts to plaque, increasing the risk for gingivitis, [which is] the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease. So schedule at least two appointments with your dentist during your pregnancy to nip any of gum-related issues in the bud.

Morning sickness can lead to tooth erosion. Morning sickness is no fun. Duh. But stomach acid from this vomiting can also erode tooth enamel—making teeth sensitive and more vulnerable to decay. Your dentist can help you figure out a way to keep your pearly whites healthy in spite of this.

Have any questions for Dr. Vista about pregnancy and oral health? Post them to our Facebook or Twitter page. You can also send them privately in a message on either one of those pages.

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