Dental experts emphasize the importance of oral health in pregnant women. According to the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research, physiological changes happen during pregnancy. This makes gestating women prone to cavities and periodontal diseases. The study also establishes that your dental health during pregnancy is crucial for the developing fetus. If you want to understand the connection, here’s how your oral health affects your baby.
A study by Srinivas and Parry in the Journal of Women’s Health discusses how maternal periodontal disease relates to low birth weight, pre-term delivery, and preeclampsia. The bacteria from your gums can travel to your baby’s oral cavity through the amniotic cavity, placenta, and fetal membranes.
The inflammation and infection from a periodontal disease during pregnancy usually result in placental dysfunction and infection. This will subject your baby to periodontal and medical conditions as well. When you develop gingivitis and it doesn’t receive treatment, you may lose the bones that support your teeth. This condition may also travel to your baby’s oral cavity.
Maternal health experts say that pregnant women have a high risk of developing cavities because of certain behavioral changes. Alterations in eating habits during pregnancy can cause you to develop cavities. Your food cravings can result in the proliferation of bacteria in your mouth. After your delivery, it is likely that your baby’s mouth will also carry the same bacteria. Early exposure to these corrosive bacteria, made worse by consuming sugary snacks as the baby grows older, will lead to cavities during early childhood. These cavities will then impact the child’s development because of dental pain, which hinders focus during preparatory activities.
Clinical evidence shows that if you’re pregnant, your mouth becomes drier. This happens because of the hormonal changes in your body. Dryness of the mouth can become worse if you smoke or drink alcohol while you’re pregnant. When your mouth is dry, it becomes prone to bacterial infection. Once your mouth develops an infection, it travels to your baby inside your womb.
Dentists usually share valuable information and reminders to their pregnant patients. Here are some of the things you can do to help make your oral cavity healthier:
Brush your teeth right after you experience morning sickness. You can then gargle a solution of 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. This will help buffer your mouth after you vomit.
Use fluoride toothpaste and anti-gingivitis mouthwash solutions to lower the risk of developing cavities and periodontal disease.
Practice good oral hygiene, eat nutritious foods, drink more water, and see your dentist regularly.
You should be more vigilant in striving for optimal oral health during your pregnancy. This will impact your baby’s oral and general health. At Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry, we do our best to help your child get started in life with good dental hygiene. If you have any questions about dental health during pregnancy or if you want to schedule an appointment, please call us at 817-569-6633. You are also welcome to visit our clinic in Fort Worth, Texas, for a one-on-one consultation.