You might be surprised at the number of connections between infants and the oral health of their mothers, whether through cavities or gum disease, during both pregnancy and infancy.
Gum Disease and Low Birth Weight
Frightening new studies have shown that women who had gum disease during their pregnancy were an astounding 7 times more likely to have a low birth weight baby. While it may seem strange that your mouth could be so important, gum disease is in fact an infection, and any infection can have detrimental effects on a healthy weight for your newborn. The best way to avoid this is to talk to Dr. Hawkins as soon as you know you are pregnant so that he can test for any health problems that might affect your baby.
Your oral health decisions can still affect your baby even after they are born. Researchers now agree that one of the most common ways babies get cavities is by “catching” them from their mothers. Tooth decay, just like the common cold, can be spread from one person to another through contact with their saliva when sharing utensils, food or kissing on the mouth.
The teeth of infants are especially vulnerable as they begin to develop, which means it is one of the few times you can transfer cavities to them. All you have to do to protect your healthy baby is keep from kissing them on the mouth. Instead, kiss them on the cheek or forehead, anywhere that won’t transfer your saliva to them. And don’t forget to keep your regular dental appointments with Hawkins Family Dentistry, to make sure your teeth are cavity free!
Your Health is Important
We know that there are thousands of things for new mothers to worry about, but a fool proof way to avoid these problems is to simply take care of yourself. Come in for your regular appointments, with our Midlothian, VA office, as well as all of your other doctors.
Also, be aware of the strong correlation between stress and the health of your mouth. It can cause canker sores, dry mouth, gum disease, teeth grinding, and a painful jaw condition known as TMD which can bring on headaches, earaches and clicking in your jaw.
We want all of the mothers in our practice to have a healthy mouth and a healthy baby!
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