Women that are pregnant or planning a pregnancy may not be thinking too much about the health of their teeth, but recent studies conducted by Cigna show that dental health should be more of a concern due to the impact it has on both the mother’s overall health and the baby’s. Because of this, employers should strongly consider adding dental coverage to their maternity plans.
The Importance of Dental Health for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy hormones can actually affect a woman’s dental health. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the physiological changes that women experience during pregnancy can result in the following dental health issues:
- Gingival lesions
- Tooth enamel erosion
- Loose teeth
There’s also the risk of infection, including gum disease and tooth decay, and all of these issues can in turn affect the health of the baby. Then there are some of the daily routines that pregnant women often go through that can affect their dental health. This can include taking certain prescribed medications, such as medications for high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes, which dry the mouth and can in turn result in gum disease, bacteria growth and tooth decay.
Why Maternity Plans Should Include Dental Coverage
The Cigna study showed that 63 percent of the surveyed pregnant women believed they had excellent dental health before pregnancy—this number dropped to 55 percent during their pregnancy. Also, 43 percent of those surveyed didn’t even bother going to the dentist for a check up during their pregnancy period. The main reason? They were worried about the costs. This is a problem since pregnant women are more likely to develop a dental health issue—which, left untreated, could grow into a bigger problem that will be more costly to treat. By including dental coverage in your maternity plans, you’ll be encouraging pregnant women to get a dental check up.
Dental health is often ignored during pregnancy—but it shouldn’t be, as pregnancy can affect the health of women’s teeth. For more information about maternity plans and California medical plans in general, contact The Benefits Store today.