Mothers are at an increased risk of oral disease during pregnancy
- Gum disease, tooth erosion, and cavities are common oral problems during pregnancy
- Untreated gum disease in the mother can lead to:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy)
- Kids are more than 3x as likely to have cavities if the mother has high levels of untreated cavities
- 4 in 5 pregnant people reported having dental problems, yet only ½ actually went to a dental visit during pregnancy
- 33% of OBs and nurse midwives discussed oral health with their pregnant patients
- 77% of OBs reported that patients had been declined treatment by dentists, though dental care during pregnancy can be done safely
Oral Conditions and Pregnancy
- Pregnancy gingivitis – swollen, red, and bleeding gums while brushing and flossing. May experience sensitivity around previous fillings and dental work.
- Tooth erosion – vomiting (morning sickness) and acid reflux can dissolve the outer surface (enamel), leading to tooth erosion.
- Cavities – increased acidity in the mouth, changes in diet, more frequent snacking can increase risk for cavities.
- Pregnancy tumor – painless lesions developing on the gum that are not cancerous
- Inform your dentist that you are pregnant. He or she wants to ensure the safest oversight of your oral health during pregnancy as part of your care team. Make sure to get clearance from your OBGYN if you require treatment
- For any treatment, usually second trimester is the safest time to have it, however dental emergencies are an exception
- With morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or water and baking soda to neutralize the acid and protect your teeth. Wait 30 minutes afterwards to brush to allow the acid to fully neutralize
- Increasing your frequency of snacking can increase cavity risk, so make sure to sip or swish non-carbonated water after snacks or drinks to neutralize the mouth
Original source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry