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Food Insecurity Related To Poor Oral Health In Pregnant Women

Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on Jun 3 2022, 10:05 PM

Food Insecurity Related To Poor Oral Health In Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is a time of great changes that require extra care to the teeth and gums.

Food insecurity is a growing problem here in America and around the world, and unfortunately with soaring food prices, it may only get worse before it gets better. This leaves a burden on American families to not only afford healthy food, but also to care for their oral health and hygiene. Trips to the dentist especially may fall to the wayside, which can be extremely dangerous.

In the June issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, a report was published entitled “Food Insecurity and Oral Health Care Experiences During Pregnancy: Findings from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System.” In it, the article discussed how pregnant women with food insecurity were more likely to have poor oral health during pregnancy. This included poor nutrition, lack of reliable food, and lack of oral health preventative care.

Thankfully, there have been talks of expanding insurance programs to include dental coverage, and initiatives in rural areas to get more dentists, as many Americans simply do not live close enough to go to a dentist regularly.

The article underscores the importance of good oral health at all stages of life, but especially during pregnancy, when hormonal changes can affect the teeth and gums, causing gingivitis and even fallen teeth.  Add in poor oral hygiene, and you have a dangerous combination.

If you are pregnant and cannot make it in to see Dr. Abelar, be sure to maintain your oral health the best you can on your own. It is extremely important that you brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes at a time, and floss your teeth at least once per day, preferably before bed or when you are done eating for the day. For food, try to eat as whole of foods as possible including fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts and legumes, and non-processed meats, as these are the best foods for your teeth and body.

These tips will help you provide the best defense you can against cavities and gum disease while you are pregnant. If you do find, however, that this is not enough and your teeth are shifting or your gums are red and inflamed, please contact Dr. Abelar’s office for an appointment. 

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