All mothers-to-be make a conscious effort to eat healthy, take adequate care of their body and avoid stress and anxiety during their fragile state of pregnancy. However, most of them tend to ignore something as basic as a complete oral care routine, largely because they are not aware of the effect oral health problems can have on their overall health.
Studies have proved that pregnant women who have periodontal diseases may be seven times more likely to have a baby born too early or too small. A preventive oral care routine of brushing twice a day, followed by an anti-microbial mouthwash and flossing, during this period is therefore of paramount importance. While more research is needed to confirm exactly how periodontal disease affect pregnancy outcomes it appears that periodontal disease triggers increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor. Furthermore, data suggests that women whose periodontal condition worsens during pregnancy have an even higher risk of having a premature baby.
One of the most common dental problems associated with pregnancy is a condition known as pregnancy Gingivitis. Gingivitis during pregnancy is a common feature as hormonal changes are known to trigger off reactions to oral irritants and cause gum diseases.Studies conducted on pregnant and non-pregnant women have revealed that during the first and second trimesters, pregnant women may show signs of swollen gums that bleed easily.In-fact 8 out of 10 moms-to-be complain of weak gums and oral complications. However,fortunately the early signs of gum disease during pregnancy appear to be reversible.
Women are advised to get their teeth examined before they plan to conceive, and any existing oral problems should be treated in time. A routine visit to the dentist can help detect periodontal problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. Extra care should be taken during this time since it has a direct impact on the health of the mother and baby.
Brushing twice a day should be followed by an anti-microbial mouthwash and flossing. Be gentle while brushing and flossing to avoid any injury to the gums since wounds on the gums allow germs to pass into the body through blood plasma. These germsmay eventually reach the fetus in the placenta andcan result in an infection.
Prevention is always better than cure so adopt a healthier oral care routine today. Mouth rinsing with an anti-microbial mouthwash along with brushing provides 100% protection from germs since being liquid it is able to reach parts of the mouth that are inaccessible to the toothbrush. In-fact essential oil based anti-microbial mouthwashes penetrate the plaque bio film and help prevent plaque, gingivitis, cavities, gum bleeding, and bad breath. Studies show that it can reduce plaque by 56 percent and Gingivitis by 21 percent over brushing alone.
Along with a complete oral care routine remember to eat healthy, get rest and take adequate care of yourself during this crucial period to insure a hassle free delivery.
Dr Gopalakrishnan, Professor at Santosh University & Secretary General of The International Clinical Dental Research Organization