Importance of Oral Care for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women often shy away from dental care out of concerns for the health of their pregnancy, but a recent recommendation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists underscores the importance of preventative dental care for pregnant women. Dental health problems such as periodontal disease have been linked to an increased risk of fertility problems, miscarriage, low birth weight and preterm birth.

Pregnancy can cause hormonal changes that increase the risks to teeth and gums. Estrogen can cause gums to become inflamed and easily irritated, which allows oral bacteria to more easily breach the barrier and enter the bloodstream. Unfortunately, more than a third of women have not had a dental checkup in more than a year, and nearly half of all pregnant women have gum disease or cavities. Women who are black, who smoke or who have lower incomes are at the highest risk of suffering from untreated dental problems.

Good dental hygiene can be one of the best ways to take care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy, but you still need to check in with the dentist regularly. According to ACOG, routine dental cleanings and even dental X-rays and local anesthesia are safe during pregnancy. Not only are they safe, but they may also reduce your overall risks by helping you keep your teeth and gums in the best possible condition and reduce your risk of suffering from dental health-related pregnancy complications. Contact our dental office today to learn more or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Frame, our Santa Clara dentist.

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