Pregnancy is typically the time when most women strive to be in optimal overall health. It is quite common for pregnant women to visit their doctor, gynaecologist or obstetrician in preparation for pregnancy. However, not all pregnant women include a visit to the dentist as part of their preparation. Most women are unaware of the adverse effect that poor oral health can have on an unborn child.
Some expectant mothers struggle to maintain good oral health routines, as their efforts are hindered by bouts of morning sickness and the physical demands of being pregnant. When pregnant women fail to maintain good oral hygiene, they become at risk of developing “pregnancy gingivitis”. Oral bacteria have the ability to cross the placenta – a vital organ that transfers nutrients to promote the growth and development of an unborn child. The bacteria could then affect the unborn baby, and may ultimately result in premature birth or a low birthweight.
These factors make it extremely important for pregnant women to concentrate on maintaining immaculate oral health. During pregnancy, the expectant mothers’ hormone levels are elevated, increasing the sensitivity of the gum tissue and dilating the blood vessels. The dilation makes the gum tissue vulnerable to the effects of plaque bacteria, as well as the toxins produced by them.
Pregnancy gingivitis is usually present from the second to the eighth month of pregnancy. Fortunately, periodontal therapy (treatment for gum disease) helps to decrease inflammation in the gums, reducing the effects on both the mother and the unborn child. Additional dental cleaning will increase your chances of enjoying a trouble-free and healthy pregnancy. Therefore, it is imperative that your dental appointments are more frequent during your pregnancy. Contact a dentist in Cape Town today.