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Dental Care, Fertility and Pregnancy

a blog by Beth Hartog, M.D., Damien Fertility Partners, June 25, 2012

When you are considering pregnancy, be sure to consider your oral health — it just may be the key to a healthier pregnancy.

Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums; dental caries, commonly known as cavities; and periodontitis, a severe form of gingivitis when inflammation of the gums extends to all of the supporting structure of the tooth, all negatively impact pregnancy. A connection between preterm birth (which results in low birth weight infants) and dental infections has been supported in recent research studies. There is some conflicting data, but the evidence of a link is mounting.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAP) recommends that all pregnant women do the following:

  • brush their teeth with a fluoride tooth paste twice a day
  • floss every day
  • use fluoride mouth wash daily
  • have any tooth decay repaired ASAP
  • have bi-yearly dental cleanings

The busy schedule of a fertility patient with all of the appointments and the associated stresses may be overwhelming. The temptation to skip your bi-yearly dental cleaning may be strong! Don’t be tempted — keep that appointment and keep your oral health in check.

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