Can a Pregnant Woman’s Oral Health Affect Her Baby?

During your pregnancy, you want to take the best possible care of yourself so you can support the health of your baby. From taking vitamins to eating healthy and even exercising, your little one’s well-being is your priority for the next nine months!

Have you thought about your dental health during pregnancy? While many people overlook their oral health with so much going on when expecting, a pregnant woman’s oral health can certainly affect her baby. Here’s why it’s imperative to take care of your dental health as well as your bodily health while pregnant.

Pregnancy Gingivitis Can Influence Birth Weight and Premature Birth

Although it’s not uncommon for gum tissue to swell and bleed with pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes, pregnancy gingivitis could be a sign of active gum disease. Gum disease means bacteria and plaque have affected your gum tissue to the point that there’s an infection, which can cause bleeding gums, red gum tissue, and chronic bad breath.

Research links gum disease to low birth weight and even premature birth, so treating any symptoms of gum disease and taking care of your periodontal health while pregnant is paramount to supporting a healthy pregnancy and your growing little one [1].

A Mother’s Tooth Decay Can Influence Baby’s Oral Health

If you have an active cavity in your mouth during pregnancy, you have bacteria that can you can potentially transmit to your baby that would influence their risk of tooth decay.

Research shows that children born to mothers who have untreated cavities are more than three times as likely to get cavities during their childhood [2]. This is because a mother can unknowingly transmit cavity-causing bacteria to her child through sharing utensils or saliva.

Fortunately, it’s safe to treat cavities during pregnancy, so keeping your regular dental checkups can help ensure your smile is healthy and cavity-free!

Getting Dental Care Is Safe During Pregnancy

Not only is receiving dental care safe during your pregnancy, but it may just help protect the health of your infant and result in better oral health outcomes for them as well as you [3].

In addition, if you have an existing oral health condition prior to conceiving, such as gum disease or tooth decay, the problem is likely to get worse with pregnancy due to morning sickness, hormonal changes, and changing eating habits.

During your next checkup, let your dentist know that you’re expecting. Your dentist will work with you to ensure the care you receive is safe for you and your little one and help you protect your oral health so you can have your best chance for a healthy pregnancy and baby!

Sources:
1. https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/features/pregnancy-and-oral-health.html
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21282684/
3. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/0415/p1139.html

Summary
Can a Pregnant Woman’s Oral Health Affect Her Baby?
Article Name
Can a Pregnant Woman’s Oral Health Affect Her Baby?
Description
While many people overlook their oral health with so much going on when expecting, a pregnant woman’s oral health can certainly affect her baby. Here’s why it’s imperative to take care of your dental health as well as your bodily health while pregnant.
Author