February 4, 2014 – So, now that you are expecting the excitement has set in and it’s time to see your World Golf Village dentist! You read that correctly, go see your World Golf Village dentist! You have read all the do’s and don’ts several times. You know about what to put into your body to have the healthiest, happiest baby you can have, including what to eat and drink. So if you are so careful about what you put in your mouth, you should know that your mouth itself is very important to take care of while pregnant.
Taking care of your mouth while pregnant really focuses on the gingiva, or gums. Yes, preventing cavities is important, because we do not want you in pain, as stress is bad for both you and baby. But what we really are focusing on is the bacteria in your mouth. Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, occurs without proper cleaning. As the bacteria builds up, the gums become inflamed, red, and puffy. This can lead to a more serious condition called periodontal disease. This occurs when the bacteria actually causes the bone to recede around the tooth itself. This inflammation releases a protein in your body called C-reactive protein. Your body does not like to see C-reactive protein circulating throughout your body, and according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), forty percent of pregnant women have gingivitis or periodontal disease. So, it’s time to see your St. Augustine dentist.
Pregnancy gingivitis can occur by itself, even with proper cleaning, due to the increased hormones in your body. And yes, this can still lead to periodontal disease. So, what does this all mean? How does this effect the baby? Poor gum health can lead to a preterm baby or a lower birth weight. As you are already aware, the longer the baby can develop before delivery, the fewer complications there are, both short term and long term.
There are steps you can take to minimize your risks in developing gingivitis or periodontal disease:
- Brush and floss
- Visit your St. Augustine dentist, for both cleanings and exams
- Drink lots of water
- Chew sugar-free gum
Most routine dental treatment is acceptable while you are pregnant. And dental cleanings are recommended more frequently than every six months. Most dental offices now have digital X-rays that produce about ninety percent less radiation than traditional X-rays. When combined with a lead shield, little to no radiation makes its way toward your baby. So, get your teeth cleaned with your World Golf Village dentist in St. Augustine, and keep them clean!