A pregnant woman's oral health can have a significant impact on the baby's health too, a new study has said.
Pregnant women can experience gingivitis, pregnancy tumors, and mild to severe gingival enlargement.
"Although bleeding and inflammation of the gums has been noted in all trimesters of pregnancy, it typically disappears three to six months after delivery, provided that proper oral hygiene measures are implemented," said Crystal L. McIntosh.
Pregnancy tumours, which are not cancerous, appear as a growth in the mouth and usually disappear after the child is born. They typically are painless and purple or red in colour, but they can exhibit spontaneous bleeding.
"Pregnancy gingivitis and gingival enlargement are thought to be the result of a heightened response to bacteria in the mouth," said (Academy of General Dentistry) AGD spokesperson Robert Roesch.
"That's why it is extremely important to educate and motivate patients to maintain good oral hygiene during pregnancy," he added.
Pregnant women should maintain their regular, semi-annual checkups and consult a dentist if they notice any changes in their oral health.
The article is published in the November/December 2010 issue of General Dentistry.