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Good dental hygiene is important and regular cleaning and check-ups are essential for dental health, and this is especially true if you are trying to conceive. Therefore, if you're overdue for a dental checkup, you might want to schedule a visit to your dentist before you start trying to conceive. The main reason for regular checkups is gum disease. Gum diseases and generally the health of gums tends to get worse during pregnancy due to the hormone changes.

Because during pregnancy estrogen levels are increased, woman should start seeking dental treatment for any preexisting periodontal problems before she start trying to conceive. Preventive dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are not only safe, but are recommended. As already said, the rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums. There are several researches available that suggest there is a link between periodontal disease and an increased risk of giving birth to a premature, low birth weight baby. Study suggests that bacteria that causes gum inflammation goes into the bloodstream and this way reaches the baby. As already said, this can lead to premature labor and low birth weight babies.

Additionally there is a study that suggests that shows that periodontal disease may cause increased risk of preeclampsia. Poor dental conditions and pregnancy complications such as preterm delivery and low birth weight babies are a reason good enough that woman trying to conceive and also every pregnant woman see their dentist regularly, at least every 6 months. By seeing periodontist or dentist before and during pregnancy woman can decrease the risk and prevents the development of periodontal disease. Woman should not avoid visiting dentist during pregnancy: dental work such as cavity fillings and crowns and even root canal treatment should be done to reduce the chance of infection. Additionally, local anesthesia as well as dental X-rays with abdominal shielding are safe in pregnancy and will not affect pregnancy. Additionally, antibiotics labeled category B for safety in pregnancy (penicillin, amoxicillin, clindamycin) may be prescribed after the procedure.

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