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Pregnancy and Oral Health
Pregnancy and Oral Health
Women undergo several growth stages and hormonal changes throughout their lives. Because of all these changes, women’s oral health is not necessarily better than men’s even though they usually take better care of their oral health.
The Journal of Periodontology states that 23 percent of women between the ages of 30 and 54 have periodontitis, a state of periodontal disease.
Women who experience gingivitis during pregnancy undergo more severe cases of gingivitis as their pregnancies progress. Some symptoms include bleeding, tenderness and swelling in the gum tissue.
Some pregnant women report large lumps in their gums. These are called pregnancy tumors and can be removed by a periodontist.
Many studies have shown a link between periodontal disease and premature babies. Pregnant women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to give birth to a premature or underweight baby.
How to Care for your Oral Health
1) Make regular dental check-ups—at least twice a year.
2) If you notice any of the following, consult with your dental care professional:
- constant bad breath
- bleeding gums
- swollen gums
- loose teeth
- changes in your bite
- gum recession
Some Tips for Mothers-To-Be
1) If planning on pregnancy, visit your dental professional before you get pregnant.
Gordon Douglas, D.D.S. and president of the
2) When you become pregnant, get early regular care.
3) Eat a healthy and balanced diet, typically consuming about 300 more calories than what you would normally eat.
4) Stop smoking.
5) Take a multivitamin that has 400 micrograms of the B vitamin folic acid in the first few months of pregnancy.
6) Avoid refined sugars.
7) Consume vitamin C-rich foods
8) Consume adequate amounts of calcium to promote healthy teeth and bones.
Did You Know?
About half of women will undergo pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnancy gingivitis causes swelling, redness or bleeding in the gum tissue. This could lead to a more advanced case of periodontal disease, which affects the health of your baby.
If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease during pregnancy, your periodontist may suggest a special treatment called scaling and root planning. This treatment is non-surgical and involves removal of tartar and plaque from periodontal pockets. This treatment has also been shown to decrease the potential risk of premature births.
It’s important to consult with your dentist during pregnancy. If you notice changes in your gum tissue, visit your dentist as soon as you can.