- Social Groups
- Pros & Cons
- Expert Advice
- Tweet (http://twitter NULL.com/share)
- (http://www NULL.linkedin NULL.com/in/angellaliberte)
Although rarely discussed by obstetricians, there’s a risk that your oral health will affect your baby, especially if you’re pregnant after the age of forty. Studies have linked periodontal disease during pregnancy to an increased risk of premature and low birth weight babies.
Since seeing a dentist is not usually at the top of their priority list, older expectant mothers should be aware that the incidence of periodontal disease is age-related. The consequences of neglecting oral health are especially significant if you’re past your mid-thirties—the age at which periodontal disease typically rears its ugly head.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone around the teeth. About 80% of adults have it to some degree. Since it’s not painful, it’s easily ignored, and can sneak up on you. The condition is chronic, progresses slowly, appears later in life, and can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
And, it is a family affair. The problem does not end with newborns. You must also consider whether your child or children will grow up susceptible. Heredity plays a major role in whether we develop periodontal disease. So do habits like smoking and poor oral hygiene.
Periodontitis is also infectious. That is, it can be passed from one person to another via our saliva. So “perio-germs” get a free ride through the household. You and your partner get to share them as well as the kids. Not a pretty thought, is it?
In fact, the bacteria that cause tooth decay are similarly. We’re not born with them, we’re “inoculated” by our loved ones.
Are You Affected?
If you’re not seeing a dentist regularly, you might assume that you’re OK because nothing hurts and your gums look normal. Don’t be fooled. Periodontal disease rarely (if ever) hurts until reaching it’s more advanced stages, and can hide below the surface of fairly normal looking gums. The academy of periodontology offers a one-minute home risk assessment here: http://www.perio.org/consumer/4a.html# (http://www NULL.perio NULL.org/consumer/4a NULL.html)
Home assessment aside, it’s important to get a clean bill of health from your dentist. Specifically ask if you have any signs of periodontal disease. A thorough exam should include checking several locations around each tooth with a tiny little measuring device called a “periodontal probe”. This cannot be done visually, so don’t settle for a “quick look”. (Not all doctors are equally thorough).
And don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt.
You can learn more about periodontal disease and pregnancy—plus other mouth-body connections –by visiting the following link to the academy of periodontology website: http://www.perio.org/consumer/mbc.baby.htm (http://www NULL.perio NULL.org/consumer/mbc NULL.baby NULL.htm)
What About The Kids?
Periodontal disease and dental emergencies can and should be treated during pregnancy since they can both threaten your baby’s health. Your dentist will know how to do this safely
Proper dental care can defeat periodontal disease before it ever has a chance to get started. Good habits start early. As my six year old already knows, “you only floss the ones you want to keep”.
Young children don’t have the dexterity to properly brush and floss, so you need to help them. At least until they can floss on their own. (I know colleagues who helped their kids brush and floss until they entered their tweens.)
Finally, set a good example for your kids by getting regular checkups and dental care yourself, as well as starting their preventive visits as soon as their first baby teeth appear.
Notes for this blog:
Dr. Carolyn Schweitzer graduated from dental school in 1984 and residency in 1985. She then practiceddentistry full time until 2003, when she took a hiatus from
her career. At 45 Carolyn learned she was pregnant (in spite of having been told it was more likely pigs would fly!) and at 46 gave birth to a healthy baby boy. She now divides
her time between dentistry, her family, and writing about life as an older mom at MommyInTheMiddle.com (http://www NULL.mommyinthemiddle NULL.com). (http://www NULL.MommyInTheMiddle NULL.com)
- (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/health/health-headlines/women-increasingly-going-online-to-seek-free-sperm-donors-1 NULL.1590245)
Angel on CNN(http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)
CNN Mother's Day: "Mature Moms" (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)(http://youtu NULL.be/atScMih4_d0) (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
AARP's "Inside E-Sreet" on PBS TV (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
(http://twitter NULL.com/achildafter40) (https://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/AChildAfter40) AChildAfter40 (http://pinterest NULL.com/AChildAfter40/)
- Subscribe to the Online Magazine from AChildAfter40.com (http://www NULL.scoop NULL.it/t/a-child-after-40-weekly-news)
- ACHILDAFTER40.COM Updates
- Adoption Over 40
- Career, Work and Business
- Celebrity Moms Over 40
- Dads Over 40
- Fertility-Infertility Over 40
- Growing Up in the ‘60s & ‘70s
- Health & The Over 40 Mom
- Later Motherhood In The News
- Menopause & Kids
- Midlife Mother's Day
- Mothers Over 40
- Mothers Over 50
- Parenting After 40
- Pregancy and Birth Over 40
- School and Over 40 Moms
- Seasonal Holidays
- Social and Support Groups
- Social Stigma and Becoming Social
TagsAdoption adoption after 40 aging baby after 40 blended family donor eggs egg donation after 45 egg donation after 50 egg donors famous moms after 40 fertility fertility after 40 fertility over 40 first time mother over 40 infertility IVF after 40 kelly preston kelly preston birth menopause menopause and motherhood mother's day mother's day after 40 mother's day gifts mother after 40 motherhood after 40 motherhood after 50 motherhood over 40 mother over 40 mother over 45 mother over 50 mothers after 40 mothers day 2013 mothers over 40 mothers over 40 school mothers over 40 working Older fathers older mothers older mothers kindergarten kids older mothers school over 40 pregnancy Parenting After 40 pregnancy over 40 pregnant after 40 school surrogacy