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Dental Care During Pregnancy

Keep That Glittering Smile
-- By Leanne Beattie, Mother & Health Writer

You may have heard that you lose a tooth for every pregnancy, but that’s just an old wives’ tale. Oral health is a reflection of your overall health, however, so maintaining proper dental care during pregnancy is especially important.

Pregnancy Gingivitis
It’s quite common to have dental problems during pregnancy. Hormonal changes can make gum tissues more susceptible to the bacteria in plaque, leading to inflammation and bleeding gums. This “pregnancy gingivitis” can be prevented by brushing and flossing each day. Having your teeth professionally cleaned early in your pregnancy may help prevent most gum problems, too.

Frequent snacking on sugary foods can also contribute to gingivitis. Continually bathing the teeth in plaque and bacteria can cause your gums to swell and bleed, so if you're eating more often, make sure to brush your teeth more often as well.

The best way to improve gingivitis during pregnancy is to practice excellent oral hygiene. Remember the basics:
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional teeth cleanings.
Periodontal Disease and Premature Birth
Proper dental care is especially important during pregnancy, since serious gum disease (periodontal disease) has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. A study by the University of North Carolina showed that women with periodontal disease were seven times more likely to have a baby born too early or too small. Researchers believe that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease enter the bloodstream through the mouth and travel to the uterus, where they trigger the production of prostaglandins, which may cause premature labor. If a baby is born too soon, it can’t reach its full potential weight.

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Member Comments About this Article
"Please consult your dentist to find out what recommendations they offer to address your unusual situation." -- TONKA_14
"Hi all - im really just wanting some advice... My teeth are extreamly painfull and my gums really itchy and swollen... Now recently my teeth started to brake down into little pieces!! Im really scared that ill lose all my teeth....

So far its just one tooth thats braking but it hurts - i do take calcium pills and preggie vites... Stressing badly
" -- LEATITIA123
"I was told that I should go to the dentist while pregnant and it was an anxiety reliever to know that my body wasn't being stripped of all its calcium, resulting in cavities. They also suggested using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, because of the gum issues that do come up during pregnancy." -- KAILAZ
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About The Author
Leanne Beattie
Leanne Beattie is the mother of three daughters. A freelance writer for 10 years, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. You can find her at
Leanne Beattie


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