Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pregnancy and Going to the Dentist

pregnancy newborn going to dentist
Pregnant? Might be time to the dentist!
There has long been a common misconception to avoid the dentist when one is pregnant.  The previous thought process was that dental treatment may cause complications during pregnancy.  However recent studies are suggesting that going to dentist while pregnant is actually a good idea because of the excessive time constraints the newborn baby may likely require after the mother has given birth.

Physicians and researchers have determined that a pregnant woman's oral health can directly affect the newborn's systemic and oral health.  For example, a common health concern is cavity causing bacteria such as Streptocacus Mutans can be directly transmitted from the mother to the fetus.  The newborn baby may then be exposed to the bacteria, which can then multiply and grow in the fetus' body, affecting the tooth's development even before the teeth are erupted.  Such excessive bacteria, if not removed, may increase risk of tooth decay and subsequently periodontal and gum disease.

Another common occurrence is if an expectant mother is experiencing tooth pain or has a dental emergency related infection, this may cause physical stress on the mother, which may then indirectly cause systemic stress on the fetus.

Unfortunately most pregnant mothers do not receive sufficient dental care.  Census data in 2010 from the Center for Disease Control show that less than fifty percent of expectant mothers had a dental cleaning while they were pregnant.

It is our hope to increase public awareness the importance of seeing a dentist when a mother is pregnant.  If you have any questions regarding pregnancy and its relationship on the mother's and newborn's oral health, be sure to consult with your family dentist and hygienist.

From your gentle family dentist in Bellevue and Redmond,
Peter Chien, DMD