Pregnancy and Premature Birth
We probably don’t really need to explain what pregnancy is, but there are certain facts that you need to understand about being pregnant, miscarriage, and premature birth.
- In the US, there are about 6 million pregnancies every year.
- 600,000 women experience loss through miscarriage.
- Roughly 307,000 babies are born with low birth weight.
- 820,000 women smoke while pregnant.
- 757,000 women drink alcohol while pregnant.
- About 467,000 babies are born prematurely.
If you are pregnant, it’s important that you understand these risks so that you can do everything in your power to keep yourself and your baby healthy. However, not smoking or drinking and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle isn’t always enough. If you aren’t taking proper care of your teeth and gums, you are putting yourself and your child at-risk of premature birth.
Premature Birth and Your Oral Health
Research has proved that there is a link between pregnancy complications, particularly premature birth and a rise in blood pressure, and uncontrolled periodontal disease. In studying the placenta of women with increased blood pressure, one study showed that 50% of the placentas tested positive for at least one form of oral bacteria. In another study, oral bacteria was identified in the amniotic fluid of pregnant women.
Because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of gum disease, there is a risk of the bacteria spreading to the developing baby. In fact, the bacteria responsible for tooth decay can be passed from mother to child in utero. This is particularly dangerous because pregnancy is known to cause intense cravings for sweets. For these reasons and more, it is crucial that you take proper care of your mouth and body throughout your pregnancy.
At Shadow Creek Ranch Dental Specialists, our goal is to help you on your way to total health by treating your mouth for any conditions that might arise and lowering your risk of periodontal disease, tooth decay, and anything else that might affect your baby. If you’re ready to start on this path, we’re ready to help you get there. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our dental specialists.