Being pregnant should be a time for celebration, and just about all pregnant women are well aware of the need for good general health. However a new survey has found that approximately two thirds of women don’t believe there is any connection between poor oral health and complications during pregnancy. A worrying 67% didn’t think these two conditions were related, and just 25% were prepared to implement measures to improve their oral health in spite of being informed that it could cause problems during pregnancy.
Quite a bit of research has been conducted into this problem recently, and it’s been found that the risk of having a preterm birth for mothers with gum disease could be reduced by up to 34% if they simply undergo treatment with their dentist or hygienist. It’s not uncommon for women to find that the hormonal changes during pregnancy can negatively impact oral health. This is something that definitely concerns the dentist in Leeds City Dentalcare as we are well aware that expectant mums may notice their gums bleed more easily, while pregnant women already suffering from gum disease are likely to find that the condition progresses more rapidly.
Ensuring You Have Great Oral Health before Pregnancy
In an ideal world it would be best to ensure you have great oral health before becoming pregnant. This is something that is probably easily achieved if you already visit our Leeds surgery at regular intervals for check-ups and regular cleanings. If you do intend to become pregnant in the near future then it’s well worth mentioning this at your next check-up just so we can make sure there are no potential problems that could affect your pregnancy. We may also want to make sure you are up-to-date with your dental x-rays as obviously this is something we will not want to while you are pregnant. If you do have any signs of gum disease then we will want to treat this, preferably before you become pregnant as this will help reduce the risk of any complications such as preterm birth.
Dental Care during Your Pregnancy
During your pregnancy we may suggest you visit us more frequently so we can check to make sure you don’t develop a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. This is quite a common condition that develops due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy that cause the gum tissues to become more sensitive to plaque bacteria. It’s something that generally clears up once your baby is born and your hormonal levels return to normal but is something that’s worth paying close attention to.
It’s important to ensure your dental hygiene routine is up to scratch during your pregnancy, and that you brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least 2 minutes each time. It’s also important to floss regularly, but if you find this difficult then to ask our Leeds surgery for help and advice as there are various other methods you can try to keep your teeth clean. It can be useful to carry around a small dental kit consisting of a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash just in case you have morning sickness.
Your dental health doesn’t have to suffer just because you’re pregnant. Dr David Brown or any of our other dentists can help you maintain good oral health during this important time.