To take good care of your baby, you have to take care of yourself. Most women see their doctor more than 10 times during a pregnancy, but only 1/3 see the dentist. Oral health is closely linked with overall health, and there is no reason to avoid dental visits during pregnancy. In fact, there’s even more reason to keep your dental appointments.
Gum disease affects 80% of Americans, and it has been linked to increased risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes complications, and low-weight births. Expecting moms can be more susceptible to gum disease because of hormone changes. It’s important that you attend your six-month checkup and cleaning while you’re with child. At this visit, we can evaluate your gum tissue to see if you need any special help. If you do have gum disease, a deep dental cleaning can reduce your potential for having an underweight baby.
Another issue is gastric acid. During pregnancy, your mouth will encounter higher levels of stomach acid, and this can cause mouth sores. It may also influence acid erosion of tooth enamel and tooth decay.
About 5% of women experience oral “tumors” in their mouths while pregnant. Don’t be scared. The name of these mouth sores is not based on fact. The lesions usually go away after the birth.
At your dental visit, be sure to ask Dr. Kennedy about oral care for your baby. He’ll explain how to clean your baby’s mouth and when to expect tooth eruption. He can also let you know when your little one should have a first dental visit.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! We hope to help you and your baby stay healthy now and in years to come. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kennedy at our Bedford, MA dental office, call (781) 275-0200.