When contemplating becoming pregnant, women all too often fail to consider a trip to the dentist to ensure their oral health is optimal. Even worse many women believe that abstaining from dental care for 9 months is necessary during pregnancy. This is, unfortunately, a common misconception. Pregnancy sets in motion hormonal changes that predispose you to serious dental conditions that can compromise the safety of your baby.

Pregnant women are more prone to cavities (decay) due to dietary changes, for example, craving high carbohydrate and/or sugar-laden foods. In addition, morning sickness (vomiting) increases acid exposure that can permanently destroy tooth enamel. At our office, we provide effective preventive therapies as well as catch early signs of decay that lend themselves to less invasive treatments.

Even more insidious are the effects of pregnancy on the mother and the developing fetus. There exist an abundance of research linking pregnancy induced hormonal changes to the proliferation of disease-causing oral bacteria. Studies support the increased risk of premature delivery (preeclampsia) and low birth weight babies as a result of these same bacteria crossing the blood-placental barrier. Left untreated, the effects of pregnancy can cause permanent jawbone death resulting in permanently loose teeth and receding gums. These are just some of the many reasons why preventive dental care during your pregnancy is essential. Routine professional hygiene care during pregnancy is recommended every 3 months. Don’t forget your mouth is not isolated from the rest of your body or your baby. Oral health is synonymous with not merely a women’s general health, but a critical element that ensures a healthy and safe pregnancy.