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Good prenatal care includes dental care. Gum disease — also known as periodontal disease — is an ongoing bacterial infection that causes swelling. It changes the gums and bone that support the teeth.
Any infection during pregnancy is a concern. That includes infections of the gums. Watch for warning signs. Symptoms for gum disease include red and swollen gums. Gums may also bleed when you brush or floss. Bad breath that doesn’t go away is another sign.
Often women don’t know they have gum disease. Sometimes, there aren’t any signs until the disease is advanced. Successful treatment of gum disease has been shown to reduce pregnancy complications.
The best way to avoid gum disease is to practice good daily oral hygiene. Use these tips to help fend off gum disease:
Remember, a baby’s health starts in the womb. Just as it’s vital for expectant mothers to eat healthy foods, proper oral care makes a difference, too.
Good health habits should start as soon as your baby is born. Did you know parents and other adults can spread bacteria into a child’s mouth by simply kissing them on the lips or sharing a spoon. That can cause tooth decay. Baby teeth are fragile, so start your child’s oral health program even before their teeth come in.
Here are steps to help:
Talk to your child’s dentist. Together, you can create a care plan that’s right for your child. Check your plan benefits for details about dental coverage.
For more tips on oral health and your overall health, visit our website. Log in to Blue Access for MembersSM. Look for the “Coverage” tab and then “Coverage and Benefits” and then Dental.
Originally published 7/21/2016; Revised 2021, 2023
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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