Pregnancy and Oral Health in Huntingdon County

While it’s important to eat healthy and exercise appropriately, you also need to take good care of your teeth and gums. Scientists have recently learned Pregnancy and Oral Health are important for your baby developmentally including the baby’s birth weight. The researchers at the University of North Carolina found a connection between periodontitis, which is a serious gum disease, and women whose babies were born too early or at a low weight. That right there tells you of the huge importance of having a healthy pregnancy and oral health.

Periodontitis is a bacterial gum infection that can lead to destruction of the bone that supports your teeth. It can usually be easily treated when discovered early. Signs of this disease may include tenderness, bleeding, swelling of the gums and loose teeth. Although, you may also have no signs at all. Only your dentist or dental hygienist can tell for sure if you have this disease.

So, though a healthy Pregnancy and Oral Health are related, how can peridontitis affect my baby? As in any infection, your body tries to fight it to stay healthy. Scientist believes that this fight produces byproducts and chemicals that can travel through your blood stream into other parts of your body. If theses chemicals reach your uterus, they may cause you to go into labor before your baby has fully developed.

According to some estimates by the CDC, periodontitis may contribute to as many as 45,500 preterm, low birth weight babies every year in the United States alone. This means that pregnancy and oral health have a larger impact in low birth weight than those attributed to smoking and alcohol use.

What can you do? Visit your dentist several times while you are pregnant to have dental examinations and dental cleanings. Also, make sure to brush your teeth two to three times daily and floss at least once a day. Your dentist or hygienist will need to know your pregnancy health history. This includes if you are a high risk pregnancy, the month you are currently in, medications you are taking, changes you have noticed in the gums such as bleeding, swelling, or tenderness.

Take the time to help yourself and your unborn baby. Your role as a mother has already started. For more information or questions you can contact Heather Metzler RDH at Smiles for Life, Dr Jeffery Hartman at (814)643-9414.

For all your dental needs you can click here to visit Dr Jeffery Hartman online, or contact him by Phone: (814)-643-9414 or (800)-732-9630 Dr. Jeffery Hartman is located at 524 Washington Street in Huntingdon, PA 16652

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