Pregnancy and Oral Health - What's the Connection? The Chapel Hill, NC General Dentist Explains

by Dr. Diane Hourigan | Date Published: 2018-02-18

It’s no secret that your body undergoes significant changes when you are pregnant. But the Chapel Hill, NC general dentist wants you to know that these hormonal changes can have an impact on your oral health too.

Increased dental problems during pregnancy are very common. You may have heard the old saying, “A tooth lost for every child.” This isn’t to say that a rite of passage of pregnancy is tooth loss, but your body is going through significant hormonal changes that also affect your teeth and gums.

Pregnancy and Gum Health

Pregnancy gingivitis affects about half of all women who become pregnant. This condition can cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. Advanced gum disease, called periodontitis can even affect the health of your baby.

Preterm or Low Birth-Weight Babies

Studies indicate that a possible relationship exists between periodontal disease and preterm, low birth weight babies. While more research needs to be conducted in this area, there is sufficient reason to believe that pregnant women with untreated periodontal disease have a potential to have a baby born too early and too small.

We strongly believe that visiting your dentist and maintaining periodontal health during pregnancy is a wise precaution in any event.

Avoiding Gum Disease during Pregnancy

Obviously, a lifelong routine of proper oral hygiene and regular dental exams and cleanings with the Chapel Hill, NC general dentist are the best prevention for gum disease whether you plan to become pregnant or not.

Once you do become pregnant, however, be sure to advise your dental professional immediately and make an appointment for a dental cleaning early in your pregnancy. This allows us to monitor your oral health for any adverse changes. It is also wise to plan this visit early on as sitting in a dentist’s chair can become uncomfortable later in pregnancy.

Please Call to Arrange An Exam

For more information on protecting your oral health during pregnancy, please call us to arrange a convenient appointment for an exam and cleaning.