Pregnancy and Your Oral Health: What Every Mother-to-Be Should Know

Pregnancy and Your Oral Health: What Every Mother-to-Be Should Know

Preparing for a baby is an exciting time in life, but it can also feel busy, scary, and overwhelming. 

That makes it easy to overlook important details — like dental care.

Prenatal care often focuses on doctor visits and birthing classes. However, dental issues can also become increasingly common during pregnancy. Unfortunately, they can also impact the health of you and your baby.

Emmanuel Aguilar, DMD, offers high-quality dental services to people in all phases of life, including pregnancy. 

Are you a mother-to-be? Here’s what you should know and how Dr. Aguilar can help at American Dental Clinic in San Diego, California.

Pregnancy and oral health

It’s no secret that pregnancy causes numerous changes to the body. However, the hormonal shifts behind these physical transformations also affect your oral and dental health.

In fact, studies show pregnant people have a significantly higher risk of developing periodontal disease. 

On top of the physical changes, it’s also common for mothers-to-be to undergo dietary shifts. And they often include cravings for sugary and starchy foods, which pose an increased risk of cavities. 

Finally, there’s morning sickness. This uncomfortable pregnancy symptom exposes teeth to stomach acid. Unfortunately, frequent vomiting can erode the protective enamel coating the teeth.

If you struggle with morning sickness, Dr. Aguilar recommends rinsing your mouth promptly with water and baking soda. This solution helps neutralize oral pH. You should, however, wait to brush for 30 minutes.

Dental issues and pregnancy risks

Taking good care of your overall health plays a key role in fetal development. It doesn’t stop at your mouth — dental health can also impact a baby’s well-being as well. 

The first step is to have a good oral hygiene habit. However, Dr. Aguilar also recommends scheduling an early pregnancy checkup to address any potential issues right away.

Approximately 60-75% of pregnant women have gingivitis — the earliest stage of periodontal disease (gum disease). Research shows direct links between this condition and poor pregnancy outcomes because of increased inflammation in the body. These poor outcomes include preterm birth and low birth rates.

 

Untreated dental problems in pregnant individuals could also lead to future dental issues for the child.

Pregnancy and dental procedures

You can make your oral health a priority without worry — most dental procedures are completely safe throughout all three trimesters, even if you need anesthetics or X-rays. 

Anesthetics

Whether you need routine or more complex care, like a root canal or tooth extraction, local anesthetics are safe during pregnancy. 

X-rays

If you need digital X-rays, Dr. Aguilar uses a leaded apron to protect you and your baby. 

Remember, timely dental treatments, like fillings and cleanings, are instrumental in optimal health outcomes for you and your baby. Simply inform Dr. Aguilar of any medications or personalized treatment recommendations during your visit.

Are you expecting? Dr. Aguilar is here to address any questions or concerns related to your dental health before, during, and after pregnancy. Contact American Dental Clinic to schedule a consultation by calling 858-215-2951 or booking online today.

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