Pregnancy is an amazing time where you get to watch your body change and grow to accommodate a new life. Along with these changes, however, can come some not-so-amazing side effects, like morning sickness, fatigue, and back pain.
One effect that is often overlooked is the impact pregnancy can have on dental health. Pregnant women are more susceptible to gingivitis or gum disease, and other dental problems like cavities and decay. That’s why it’s important to see your dentist regularly during pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know about dental care during pregnancy.
Periodontal Disease & Pregnancy
Periodontal disease, an infection of the gums, is a serious concern during pregnancy. This is because pregnancy can cause an increase in the levels of certain hormones in your body, which can lead to gum inflammation.
It’s caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. If plaque isn’t removed, it hardens into tartar, which can irritate the gums and cause them to swell and bleed. Gum inflammation can then lead to gingivitis, which is a mild form of periodontal disease.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is a more serious form of the disease. Periodontitis can increase your risk for tooth loss and even preterm labor and low birth weight babies.
Diminished Oral Health During Pregnancy
There are a few reasons why dental health often declines during pregnancy. First, the increased levels of hormones in your body can cause gum sensitivity, inflammation and plaque build-up.
Additionally, many pregnant women have morning sickness or the more serious version of hyperemesis gravidarum, which can contribute to tooth enamel erosion.
Then is the lack of energy and time it takes to maintain dental health both at home and by going to the dentist.
How to Stay Healthy
There are several things you can do to take care of your dental health during pregnancy. First, make sure to brush twice a day and floss once a day. You should also use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.
Staying clear of junk foods like soft drink or sweet treats and opting for fresh, whole foods can help to limit the damage sugar and acids can do to your teeth and gums.
It’s important to see your dentist regularly for check ups and cleaning – at least once every trimester during your pregnancy.
And finally, if you have morning sickness, be sure to rinse your mouth after vomiting to wash off the stomach acid. Brushing your teeth can just spread it around, so consider rinsing with baking soda and water to neutralise the acid.
There is no need to worry about visiting the dentist – it is safe to get the care you need during pregnancy. Begin by booking in a free 30-minute consultation. During this time, we’ll assess your mouth and talk you through your options.
Are finances a hindering factor of your dental care? We offer several easy payment plan options to support you.
We would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have about any of our dental procedures. Click here for more information.
Pregnancy is a wonderful time full of new experiences, but it’s also a time when additional care needs to be taken in order to maintain good oral health. By following the simple tips above, you can help reduce your risk for periodontal disease and other dental problems during pregnancy.
If you have any concerns about your dental health, be sure to talk to our friendly dentists right away. Treatment is most effective when started as soon as possible.