FOR YOUR HEALTH – Maternal health and dental health: their link

(NAPSI)—At each stage, women, especially mothers, have a lot to juggle. From trying to conceive, being pregnant, raising children and going through menopause, their to-do lists are long. An important task that may not be the first that comes to mind is maintaining good oral health.

“Oral health plays a role at all stages of life and it often shows up for moms,” said Kyle Dosch, DDS, a licensed dentist who serves as the dental director of Delta Dental of Washington. “Demonstrating and teaching the importance of good oral health habits is essential to the overall health and well-being of you and your family.”

Before pregnancy

There is evidence suggesting a correlation between oral health and fertility. Women with periodontal disease took nearly seven months to conceive, while women without periodontal disease took only five months on average.

Early pregnancy

Many pregnant women suffer from morning sickness and, as bothersome as it is, it can also have negative effects on a woman’s oral health, especially her teeth. Stomach acid can weaken tooth enamel, leading to an increased risk of cavities. Dentists recommend rinsing your mouth with water after vomiting to help remove the acid. Choosing healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables, which can help flush bacteria out of your teeth, along with plenty of water, are the best choices when pregnancy cravings hit.

During pregnancy: what to do when you brush your teeth for two?

Up to 75% of pregnant women suffer from gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease. Periodontitis has been associated with a negative effect on pregnancy, leading to premature birth or low birth weight of the baby. Regular dental checkups, brushing, and flossing can help prevent this.


Mothers with tooth decay can pass cavity-causing bacteria to their babies by doing things like cleaning pacifiers in their own mouths. Rinsing with plain water is a safer way for the mother to monitor her baby’s oral health.


Children of mothers who have high levels of untreated cavities or oral health problems are three times more likely to have cavities. This may be due to poor oral health education or sharing drinks and utensils. This can transfer cavity-causing bacteria from a mother’s mouth to that of a child. Making time to brush and floss together each day can help mom and kids stay on track to achieve their oral health goals.

Perimenopause and menopause

Teeth and gums are very sensitive to hormonal changes that occur before and during menopause. These hormonal changes can make it harder for a woman’s body to fight off minor infections and maintain a healthy balance of helpful and harmful bacteria in the mouth and on the gums. These hormonal changes can also lead to increased tooth sensitivity.

A regular visit to the dentist will help ward off these risks.

Learn more

For more information on your oral health, visit the Delta Dental of Washington blog at

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