Gum disease and other oral health problems can have significant impacts on your overall health. One complication of gum disease is an increase in pregnancy complications. Despite this risk, nearly half of all pregnant women avoid going to the dentist, even though more than three quarters of them report dental problems.

Cost Keeps Women Away

Smile Columbia Dentistry Dr. Hahn

Pregnancy is hard on the body, including your mouth. Hormonal changes can lead to an increased risk of gum disease and cavities. According to a new survey conducted by health insurer Cigna, 76% of pregnant women report symptoms of gum disease and other oral health problems, such as bleeding gums, receding gums, and loose teeth. Although most women (55%) still report their oral health as “good,” that’s a significant reduction from pre-pregnancy, when 63% reported their oral health was “good.”

But even though more than three-quarters of women had oral health problems during pregnancy, many didn’t go to their dentist. The survey showed that 43% of women didn’t see their dentist for preventive or other care during pregnancy. This isn’t just a problem during pregnancy, as 36% reported that they hadn’t seen their dentist in over a year, and 28% said it had been more than two years since they’d seen the dentist.

The primary reason why women didn’t see a dentist, they said, was cost. This is supported by the fact that women with dental insurance were about twice as likely to see a dentist during pregnancy as those without. This is a good reminder of the impact that gaps in dental health coverage can have on women’s healthcare decisions.

Healthy Mothers Lead to Healthy Babies

many women think that it’s normal to sacrifice their own healthcare when they are getting ready for baby, but this isn’t true. In fact, it’s just the opposite. If you’re really concerned about your baby’s health, you have to take special care of your own health. Treating gum disease can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications, leading to healthy babies.

And once baby is born, don’t forget to consider whether the baby might benefit from tongue tie surgery to improve their ability to nurse.

To learn more about how dental treatment can improve the health of mother and baby, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.