Your Oral Health Affects Your Baby!
As an expectant mother, you may or may not be aware of the changes in your mouth which affect both you and your baby.
Since your oral health is directly connected to your unborn baby, you can potentially expose aggressive and damaging bacteria to your newborn. By routinely brushing your teeth, flossing, using a rubber tip and seeing your Dentist, you will reduce the risk of suffering dangerous complications in pregnancy, as well as future dental complications in your newborn baby.
Eating healthy (nutrient dense, sensible, and balanced meals) promotes the health of the oral cavity for you and your baby. Limit or avoid the consumption of excess acidity and sugar (e.g., soda, candy, cookies and other sticky foods), as well as any medications if at all possible.
Symptoms to look for during pregnancy:
- Bleeding gums while brushing and flossing
- Caused by inflammation and possibly an infection that can cause damage to your baby
- Can result in early delivery or low birth weight in your baby
- May be avoided by seeing your Hygienist a few additional times during pregnancy
- Tooth aches
- Can be an indication of infection which can spread to your baby
- Can be dangerous during the end of the 3rd trimester when the uterus becomes sensitive to influences, such as stress and infection
- Dry mouth
- Can result in gingivitis, tooth decay and mouth infections such as thrush
- Can be limited by staying hydrated – use xylitol products, such as mouthwash, gum or mints
- Can be caused by medications – inform your MD as this could be a side effect
- Morning sickness
- Vomiting can cause tooth sensitivity and/or enamel erosion due to high acidity and caries
- Possible remedies:
- Rinse your mouth with xylitol mouthwash, or a mixture of water with a teaspoon of baking soda to help neutralize the acid in your mouth
- Prepare a bottled water with a tablespoon of baking soda to take with you throughout the day – rinse as needed
- After rinsing, do NOT brush afterwards – wait for about 1 hour
Maintaining a healthy oral flora is important with the hormone changes during pregnancy. The oral cavity, specifically the gums, provide signs of a healthy pregnancy. Various foods and supplements can support and/or restore a health oral flora such as:
- Fermented foods
- Probiotics supplements
- Prebiotic foods
- Prebiotic supplements
- Xylitol gum, mints, candies, toothpaste, tooth powder
Most treatment (if necessary) is recommended during the 2nd trimester, but always check with your MD.
If you experience any of the symptoms above, please contact our office to consult with your Dental Team.