You've heard you should stay on top of your dentist appointments while pregnant. But with all your other prenatal checkups, is it really necessary?
Definitely. A new study form Delta Dental found that 42.5 percent of pregnant women are skipping out on their dentist appointments, missing opportunities to identify and correct oral problems that occur specifically during pregnancy. And if left untreated, some of those problems (plaque buildup, inflammation) can cause dental infection — something linked to premature births and development issues.
Are your gums especially prone to bleeding recently? Increased progesterone hormone levels during pregnancy can cause a weird response to plaque bacteria, causing more plaque buildup than normal, puffiness, redness and bleeding when you brush or floss.
Pregnancy gum tumors
Has a red lump developed along your gum line? That excess plaque may lead to growths of tissue between teeth known as a pregnancy tumor, usually during your second trimester. They're rare and benign, usually fading away after baby is born.
Your best defense mechanism
It's simple: In addition to scheduling regular dentist appointments, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily.