When Your Body Attacks Your Teeth: Combating Autoimmune Dental Problems

2 Oral Care Tips To Follow During Pregnancy To Ensure A Healthy Baby

Good oral hygiene during pregnancy is very important. With the relatively recent discoveries on how tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections can affect your entire body, including your heart, it only makes sense that oral problems can also affect your developing fetus. Most doctors now urge patients to keep their mouths healthy during pregnancy, and here are two oral hygiene tips to follow while pregnant.

1. Use a Bacteria Killing Mouth Rinse if You Have Gum Disease

Women with gum disease while pregnant have a higher chance of having a premature baby, but well-controlled gum disease lowers this risk. It can be difficult to manage gum disease during pregnancy, as hormone fluctuations cause many changes in the mouth.

However, a promising study conducted on pregnant women with gum disease showed that women who used an alcohol-free, bacteria-killing mouth rinse daily while pregnant were 75 percent less likely to deliver their baby prematurely than women who did not use a mouth rinse daily.

If you are prescribed an oral chlorhexidine mouth rinse, then alert your dentist and doctor as soon as you become pregnant, as they may prefer you switch to an OTC rinse while pregnant. Chlorhexidine mouthwashes are considered pregnancy category C, which means it is unknown whether they will harm a developing fetus. However, since gum disease itself is harmful to your baby, a careful decision will have to be made by your medical providers about whether you should continue the rinse or not.

Dentists and doctors conducting the study said that it is still very important to have thorough professional teeth cleanings while pregnant, adding this mouth rinse to your daily dental routine can be a great extra step if you have gum disease and don't want it to affect your baby.

2. Skip Alcohol-filled Mouth Rinses

You likely know that you should not drink alcoholic beverages while pregnant, as alcohol has extremely detrimental effects on a developing fetus. However, many women don't give a second thought to using any mouth rinse while pregnant, even if the mouth rinse contains alcohol.

You should not use any alcohol-containing mouth rinse during pregnancy, as a tiny amount of the alcohol is absorbed into your body through the tissues of your mouth. If your mouth was not a gateway to your body, then sub-lingual vitamins and nicotine lozenges would not work as they do.

Thankfully, there are now many fluoride-filled, bacteria-killing mouth rinses on the market that are also alcohol-free that you can use safely during pregnancy. When in doubt, ask both your dentist and your OBGYN before beginning any new oral-health product to ensure it contains nothing that is detrimental to your baby.

Good oral care is very important during pregnancy, and it is important to visit a dentist, like Broken Arrow Family Dentist, regularly while pregnant and also practice proper daily oral hygiene using baby-safe products.