Dental Health and Your Pregnancy
Taking care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy may help lower your risk of preterm birth.
Have you had issues with your teeth and gums during pregnancy? Did your OB or midwife encourage you to see a dentist to help prevent preterm birth?
Studies have shown that pregnant women with periodontal disease are up to seven times more likely to have a baby born prematurely or be born with a low birthweight. The March of Dimes has stated that preterm birth is the number one obstetrical problem in the United States.
This seems to be caused by the higher levels of the labor-inducing chemical prostraglandin, which is found in bacteria of the mouths of people with pronounced periodontal disease.
Most dental procedures are safe during pregnancy, but be sure to advise the dentist of your pregnancy. The most common treatment for periodontal disease is a very deep, thorough cleaning of your teeth and gums called scaling and root planing.
This procedure helps remove the bacterial toxins that may cause preterm labor.
So, visit your dentist and take care of your teeth. Your baby’s health depends on it!
-Nancy Held, RN, MS, IBCLC, VP of Clinical and Educational Services