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What Every Mother-to-Be Should Know About Pregnancy and Your Dental Health

Your body changes dramatically during pregnancy, thanks to hormones preparing you for your baby’s birth. Your dental health may experience changes, too. Learn what you need to know about dental health and pregnancy.

Dec 1st, 2023

Finding out you’re pregnant is life-changing. Congratulations! Getting ready for the little one is exciting. There’s so much to do. At the same time, you want to prioritize your health because you want a healthy baby. 

Did you know that your oral health affects your dental health? And that some dental health issues can affect your pregnancy and your baby.

Dr. Abraham Nobel, DDS, MPH with Nobel Dentistry in Los Angeles, California, can discuss dental health issues during pregnancy with you during your appointment. We want to ensure your dental health is one less thing you must worry about during this incredible phase of your life. 

Effects of pregnancy on dental health

Your hormones undergo dramatic changes during your pregnancy. Your placenta produces a new hormone called hCG, which occurs only during pregnancy. 

Hormonal changes don’t only affect your mood, your food preferences, and your digestion, but they also affect oral and dental health. Many women develop cravings for sugary or starchy foods. Extra sugar can lead to cavities if you’re not careful about brushing and flossing. 

You might experience nausea during your pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. If you experience frequent morning sickness, your teeth are exposed to stomach acid, which wears away at the protective enamel. 

Dr. Nobel advises you to rinse your mouth with water and baking soda immediately after nausea. This neutralizes your oral pH. Don’t brush immediately; wait about a half-hour. 

If you haven’t had a dental checkup within the last few months, it’s essential to call for an appointment as early as possible during your pregnancy to ensure you don’t have problems that need addressing. 

Dental health risks during pregnancy

Certain infections can be passed from mother to child during birth. You may not have known that oral bacteria associated with dental decay can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and after birth. 

You want your baby to have a healthy start and a birth without complications. Pregnant women carry an elevated risk of developing periodontal disease. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that periodontitis (gum disease) is associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, including premature birth and low birth rate due to increased inflammation. 

The CDC also says that an estimated 60-75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. This is why it’s so important to have a dental checkup as soon as possible once you know you’re expecting. 

Dental procedures during pregnancy

You’ll likely need your teeth cleaned while you’re pregnant. You might need a filling. Even if you need a procedure like a root canal or a tooth extraction, don’t worry. We use local anesthetics that are safe during pregnancy. We protect you and your baby with leaded aprons if you need a digital X-ray.

Call Nobel Dentistry or book an appointment online today. We’re here for you before, during, and after your pregnancy.

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