Unfortunately, pregnant women with bad breath may have a problem that is staggering in its implications. Previously, we have discussed the relationship between gum disease and reproductive health (pregnancy gingivitis), which can result in a baby being born prematurely. Research shows that the bad breath-causing bacteria may even be linked to stillbirths.
Allegedly, the oral bacteria can be transferred to the placenta if it enters the blood stream through open sores in the gums. The unborn child is not equipped to fight the disease with its immune system in the same manner an adult can.
Since bleeding gums/pregnancy gingivitis is extremely common among pregnant women, it is vital that expecting mothers brush and floss frequently during the day, after snacks and meals. Surgery may be needed for serious infections.
Whereas pregnancy gingivitis is common, the possibility of having a stillbirth is not. Nonetheless, taking healthy steps will make pregnancy easier and reduce anxiety levels. Here are some tips for practicing good oral hygiene:
- Go to the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
- Brush your teeth at least 2-3 times a day, ideally after every meal and snack. This prevents plaque/tartar building up.
- Floss after every meal.
- Use an oral rinse (like TheraBreath) at least 2 times a day.
- Use a tongue scraper to prevent the bad breath-causing bacteria from building up.
- Eat healthier (more vegetables, less sweets).