We all know that when you are either planning a pregnancy or experiencing one, that visiting your doctor is extremely important. What you may not know is that it is just as important to talk with your dentist in Saint Louis.
In 2009, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry developed oral health guidelines for pregnant women to help them understand the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth during pregnancy and after delivery. The need for these guidelines was made apparent when a concrete connection was made between gum disease and preterm births.
Oral health complications that can result in preterm birth are even more common than you might think. In fact, pregnancy gingivitis, which tends to develop in almost half of all pregnancies, is the main culprit. However, it doesn’t always have to lead to scary results. If regular visits to my dental office in Saint Louis are maintained, and treatment is received when needed, pregnancy gingivitis can be kept under control and generally ends shortly after the mother gives birth. However, if dental care isn’t a priority during pregnancy, the gingivitis can also progress into a more serious dental concern.
If pregnancy gingivitis progresses into periodontitis – an advanced form of gum disease – preterm labor is possible. In fact, mothers with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to go into preterm labor and are at greater risk for potentially dangerous situations with their baby. Preterm births are a scary and dangerous pregnancy complication that can lead to additional health concerns for the baby including, but not limited to, a low birth weight.
And don’t forget, if you are experiencing morning sickness, the additional acid that your teeth come in contact with can be damaging. Don’t forget to rinse your mouth after vomiting, brush more frequently, and talk to us about keeping your teeth safe.
If you’re thinking of getting pregnant, are already pregnant, or are just overdue for a dental checkup (periodontitis can happen to non-pregnant people too!), give my Saint Louis dental office a call today. We’ll make sure your appointment is thorough, relaxed, and comfortable. We’re always dedicated to your, and your baby’s, overall health. Give us a call today!