Did you know that good oral hygiene and maintaining oral health also is vital for pregnant moms-to-be and her new baby?

Recent research, published by the Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN), has established the importance of oral health during pregnancy.

Because oral health is crucial to overall health, and because of normal physiologic and hormonal changes during pregnancy, expectant mothers and their offspring are particularly vulnerable to oral health problems. Pregnant women, as well as their care providers, should be aware of the many changes that take place in the oral cavity during pregnancy.

This research has linked gum disease with pregnancy complications and poor birth outcomes, including gestational diabetes, premature babies, and low birthweight babies. In fact, pregnant women with gum disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. Getting oral health care can help prevent these problems, improving health for moms and babies.

Oral Health and Medical Costs

There is evidence that a high percentage of pregnant women do not visit a dentist. For example, the Cigna Corporation (2015) recently conducted a national survey of pregnant women, only half of whom had dental insurance. They found that although 76% of pregnant women reported that they had a dental problem, only 57% reported a dental visit during pregnancy. Those with dental insurance were twice as likely to visit their dentist.

Improved oral health can also lower medical costs for expectant mothers, according to a United Concordia study, published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Pregnant women who received treatment for their gum disease saved an average of $2,433 in annual medical costs – while all adults saved an average of over $3000 in medical expenses.

Getting oral disease treated during pregnancy can also improve babies’ oral health. New moms pass cavity-causing bacteria to their infants through kisses and sharing food. If moms are free from these bacteria, their babies are more likely to avoid decay.

The Dental Health Blog supports efforts to expand access to dental care for lower income expectant moms, including increasing reimbursement rates for dental providers serving this population.

The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems, including total tooth replacement. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.

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