An earlier blog revealed how gum disease in pregnant women and hormone levels can increase the likelihood of inflamed or bleeding gums. Further, a connection between low birth weight or premature birth and gum disease has been found through research.
Premature babies have a higher risk of poor health conditions. These can include bad eyesight and hearing, or even cerebral palsy. In fact, some estimates show that 18% of premature births may be the result of chronic gum infection (periodontal disease).
But not to fear – there are things you can begin to do even before you become pregnant in order to decrease the risk of premature birth for your baby as a result of gum disease!
If you are planning on becoming pregnant, there are some things you should do and others to consider
You’re probably already trying to be as healthy as possible.
- Be sure you’re brushing twice a day with a toothpaste that has fluoride.
- Floss regularly
- Make sure you see your dentist for all of your cleanings as well.
- If you have plans to have any elective procedures done, be sure you do them before you begin trying to become pregnant. Once a pregnancy is confirmed, typically dentists don’t like to do procedures that aren’t an emergency.
- There are some non-emergency procedures that can still be done after the first trimester and your dentist can make those recommendations.
Once you become pregnant, it’s important that you let your dentist know as soon as you find out. It’s vital that your dentist is made aware of any nutritional supplements, prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking. Because of your pregnancy, there may now be a need to re-evaluate the procedures being considered, or discuss any options regarding anesthesia, x-rays, and other relevant information.
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