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Here’s Why Pregnant Women Need Routine Dental Check-up

Pregnancy can lead to dental problems in some women, including gum disease and tooth decay.

During pregnancy, hormones affect gums and teeth, which in turn affects the foetus and that is why it is important that all expectant mothers undergo routine dental examination.

Going for dental check-up, according to Consultant Gynaecologist, Dr. Serah Awoyemi, prevent mother-to-child transmission of bacteria and infections during pregnancy.

Awoyemi gave the advice during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ado-Ekiti. Such a procedure, she said, is necessary, especially at the early stage of pregnancy, to ensure good health of mother and the foetus.

The specialist said that the clinical check would also help to prevent mother-to-child harmful and complicated issues, including premature labour.

The consultant emphasised the need for pregnant women to avoid some procedures, such as teeth whitening, and ensure they have regular medical check-ups to guard against bacterial infections.

“One possible reason is that oral bacteria harbours prostaglandin, a labour-inducing hormone. Fluctuating hormone can cause expectant mothers to develop pregnancy gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gum).

“This, if left untreated, can lead to periodontal diseases, which, in turn, can raise the risk for low birth weight and premature delivery.

READ ALSO: Maternal Health Experts Explain Why Pregnant Women With These Health Conditions Must Not Use PHCs For Antenatal Care

“If you reduce the bacteria in the mouth, you reduce the low-level infections that could cause preterm labour.

“So, pregnant women are advised to undertake clinical examination and cleaning of their teeth at least once, to have a clean bill of health,”

she said.

The medical expert also said that it is necessary for pregnant women to cultivate good eating habits to avoid unnecessary weight gain. She disagreed with the belief that eating plenty of food would produce healthier and stronger babies.

Awoyemi said that heavier mothers, especially those who become overweight when they conceive and gain more weight during pregnancy, are at greater risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension. According to her, their babies tend to be larger in the process and can cause serious difficulties during delivery.

She, therefore, advised mothers against becoming overweight, urging them to do a lot of exercise to keep fit.

“You don’t need to gain a great deal of weight to have a healthier baby. A foetus generally requires only an extra 100 calories a day in the first trimester and 300 calories in the third trimester,”

Awoyemi said.

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