One of the first symptoms of pregnancy for some women is blood in the sink after they brush their teeth caused by the increase in hormones that cause the gums to slightly swell and and increase in sensitivity to any bacteria in the mouth.
Pregnancy can also effect oral health due to increase nausea and vomiting. If a mother experiences mornings sickness with frequent vomiting, there may be a negative impact on her teeth due to the stomach acids harming the enamel. If a mother has good oral health to begin with and cleans her mouth after each time she is sick, these effects to the enamel will be less.
Why is Oral Health Important Before and During Pregnancy?
According to research done by South Carolina’s Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System there is a correlation between poor oral health and premature birth and/or low infant birth weight, specifically periodontal disease. The cause is likely bacteria in the mother’s mouth traveling trough the blood stream to the placenta.
What to Watch For?
Because pregnancy actually increases the risk for certain oral diseases it is important for an expectant mother to watch for symptoms of these diseases including an increase in swelling and bleeding in the gums beyond what is normal in pregnancy, pain, bad breath, deep pockets between teeth and gums, and receding gums.
Anyone planning to conceive should get any extensive dental work done before they are pregnant. An appointment for a cleaning should be scheduled in the first trimester as well. There are certain things that will be limited during a pregnancy. Insuring great oral health before pregnancy will mean no emergency problems with limited pain options, in addition to the benefits to over all to the mother and baby that good oral health brings.