Pregnancy causes changes in your body which can affect your gums and teeth. Besides fluctuating hormone levels, you have more blood flowing through your body, and more acid in your mouth. Among the common oral health issues that arise during pregnancy are:
Any infection is cause for concern among pregnant women because they pose a risk to the baby’s health. Untreated periodontal disease can assist the movement of bacteria from the mouth into the blood stream where it can increase the level of labor-inducing fluid.
This increase in the level of labor-inducing fluid can result in premature birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and low birth weight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces).
If you’re planning to become pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, it’s important to see your dentist. You’ll want to find and treat any dental problems as well as map out an oral health plan for the rest of your pregnancy. Be sure to tell them about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking.
The kind of dental treatment you get depends on the problem that you have, and how far along you are in your pregnancy. Your dentist may avoid treating some problems in the first trimester of pregnancy because this is an important time in your baby’s growth and development.
Routine x-rays can usually be postponed until after the birth. If they are necessary, the ADA and the American College of Gynecologists say dental X-rays are safe with appropriate shielding.
Your dentist also may suggest postponing some dental treatments during pregnancy if you’ve had a miscarriage in the past, or if you’re at higher risk of miscarriage than other women.
Here’s how you can help keep your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy.
Florida Blue Dental’s Oral Health for Overall Health program provides plan members who are pregnant with dental benefits for the duration of your pregnancy when enrolled in our program. These benefits have been shown to improve not only oral health, but also achieve healthier pregnancy outcomes.
Learn more about the enrollment process.