Women commonly go through oral health problems during pregnancy. Since poor oral health can lead to lifelong impact, pregnancy is a particularly important time to access oral health care. Gingivitis (bleeding gums), tooth decay and periodontal disease (Breakdown of the attachment of the tooth to the bone) are the common oral health problems experienced in about 30% women of reproductive age. Advantages of improving the oral health care of the pregnant women includes;
- Complications of dental diseases during pregnancy can be prevented
- Has a potential to decrease early childhood caries
- Reduces the risks of preterm and low birth weight deliveries
What is the effect of pregnancy on oral health?
- Dental problems like erosion, caries, loose teeth, epulis, periodontal infection, ill-fitting crowns, bridges and prostheses are particularly significant in pregnancy
- Due to repeated acid attacks on the tooth enamel during pregnancy, tooth decay is common
- Tooth decay might also result during pregnancy due to change in the diet and oral hygiene
- Extensive erosion might result due to nausea or vomiting during pregnancy
- Complications of dislodged teeth or prostheses might result at the time of labor & delivery
- Because the bacteria which cause periodontal disease release inflammatory mediators, the condition leads to the birth of preterm and low birth weight babies
What are the prenatal oral care recommended for pregnant women?
- Limit foods containing sugar
- Eating Small amounts of nutritious food throughout the day are recommended
- To neutralize the acid which affects the teeth enamel, rinsing with small amount of baking soda and water are suggested
- Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Beverage containing low-fat milk are recommended
- Carbonated beverages are suggested to be avoided
- A necessary dental treatment has to be before delivery
- To meet the recommended daily fruit intake, fruit has to be preferred rather than a fruit juice.
- A first-trimester diagnosis for dental problems including taking dental x-rays are recommended to diagnose processes of certain dental diseases which require immediate treatment
- The time period between 14th and 20th week of pregnancy is considered safe for any of the oral health treatments.
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