New oral health guidelines for pregnant women were released by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAP) in 2009. The guidelines were customized to assist in promoting healthy teeth and gums while pregnant and early period of motherhood. Is dental health of major concern during pregnancy? Premature births are prevalent with pregnant mothers with gum disease. There is also the concern of low birth weights for their infants.

Changes in hormones create pregnancy gingivitis in almost half of all pregnancies. This condition ceases shortly after birth of the child.  In addition pregnant mothers with gingivitis should be tracked by your dentist during your pregnancy to prevent further forms of gum disease present in premature births. In addition pregnant mothers are seven times more likely to experience premature labor. It has been found that Prostaglandin, which is found in oral bacteria, may bring on labor.

Here are the guidelines created for pregnancy oral health:

Oral Health Education – providing tools from dentist to expectant mother offering resources to understand importance of good oral health during pregnancy.

Oral Hygiene – reminders of the necessity of removing bacterial plaque from teeth and gums during pregnancy to assist in lowering the instance of premature birth and low birth-weight in infants.

FluorideThe American Dental Association recommends the use of toothpaste with fluoride by persons over the age of six. Echoing their sentiment, the AAP oral health guidelines advise the continued use of fluoridated toothpaste during pregnancy, and recommends the use of an over-the-counter alcohol-free fluoride rinse to help reduce the amount of plaque in the mouth.

Nutrition – Limiting sugar intake assists in limiting plaque buildup.

Tooth Decay Treatment – It is important for pregnant mothers to receive treatment to remove bacteria related to tooth decay and exhibits no health threats during the pregnancy.

Transmission of Bacteria – Not sharing  food and utensils is critical to preventing the tranfer of bacteria causing tooth decay.

Use of Xylitol Gum – To decrease potential threat of tooth decay in children, researchers recommend mothers to chew xylitol gum several times each day.

Consider consulting with your dentist if you are planning a pregnancy.  Researchers recommend seeking treatment for existing gum disease before pregnancy and encourage regular dental care during pregnancy. Your dental health does affect your infant’s health! Charlotte Dentistry® is here to answer any questions you may have.    Click here for answers to all your dental questions.

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