Oyster Point Dentistry Blog

Newborn Dental Health Starts in Pregnancy

Darren Kincaid - Saturday, October 21, 2017

Here at Oyster Point Dentistry (Newport News, VA) we consider ourselves to be a family dental clinic. We’re proud of the fact that we serve countless multi-generational families and that we’ve grown and matured along with the families that we’ve faithfully served over the years. Today, we’d like to briefly discuss the earliest stage of dental care: Pre-Pregnancy dentalplanning.

During pregnancy, you are at greater risk of certain dental problems, the most common of these is periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, your immune system becomes hypersensitive to the bacteria in dental plaque. So when you have a problem, it’s likely to develop and deteriorate at a much greater rate than it would at any other time.

So if you are planning a pregnancy, or have just found out you are pregnant it is wise to get your gums checked out to ensure there are no existing problems already, because periodontal disease can really accelerate throughout a pregnancy.

The other thing that’s important to know is that if you do develop gum disease during your pregnancy it can affect your baby because bacteria can be transmitted into your amniotic fluid. Researchers have found periodontal pathogens in amniotic fluid and placentas, which can lead to a greater risk of low birth weight for the baby. 

When the baby is born DNA testing has shown that 95% of the bacteria actually comes from mother. This means that if you have any of those nasty bacteria that can cause infection, be it gum disease, tooth cavities or any other form of infection in the mouth, then you’ve got a very high chance of passing them on to your baby.

OK, so just some thoughts here and certainly no need to panic.  The big takeaway, is simply to continue normal dental hygiene habits and to reach out to your dentist if you are (OR are considering getting pregnant).  Just like your pediatric medical doctor, your loving dental professionals here at Oyster Point Dentistry can offer you a wealth of advice and comfort about caring for you future family. Call us anytime to learn more!