Oral health impacts your overall health, making it important to take care of your teeth during pregnancy. Moreover, pregnancy can lead to dental problems, making regular visits to the dentists even more important.
Pregnancy-Caused Oral Health Concerns
The many hormonal changes associated with pregnancy can impact a woman’s dental health. So, don’t be surprised if you have an unexpected dental issue crop up during your pregnancy. When you are pregnant, you have more acidity in your mouth, which can increases your risk of tooth decay.
If pregnancy leads to nausea and vomiting, you expose your teeth to even more acidity in the form of gastric acid. You also might notice loose teeth during pregnancy. Higher levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone have an effect on the ligaments that support your teeth, which can loosen them.
Pregnancy-caused gingivitis is another oral-health-related concern, one that, in extreme cases, can impact the health of you and your baby. Hormones can cause the gums to swell during pregnancy, resulting in mild gingivitis.
The American Dental Association reports that gingivitis is common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy, causing red, swollen gums, and bleeding gums when you brush your teeth. If you do not treat gingivitis when it first appears, you risk developing a more serious form of gum disease. Some studies show a connection between pregnant mothers who had gum disease and premature, low-birth-weight babies.
Dental Treatments During Pregnancy
Treating oral-health issues when they first appear is essential during your pregnancy to prevent minor problems from becoming major ones. Regular dental checkups are perfectly safe for pregnant women and, in fact, are encouraged to ensure their oral health. You can maintain your regular schedule with your dentist. If you are experiencing a pregnancy-related dental concern, your dentist might want to see you more frequently to ensure your problem does not develop into gum disease.
In addition to regular dental exams, your home dental routine is an effective way to avoid any dental problems during your pregnancy. Brush at least twice a day with fluoride-based toothpaste. Floss after you brush to eliminate plaque buildup, and use a fluoride mouthwash. If you experience nausea and vomiting, brush your teeth after vomiting to eliminate acidic buildup.
Finally, if you notice a dental problem despite your efforts at home, schedule an appointment with your dentist. The earlier you treat the problem, the less likely it will impact your health or the health of your baby.
Maintaining good oral health is important during pregnancy. In fact, because you are more prone to dental issues during pregnancy, regular dental checkups are not just important; they are essential. Talk to your dentist about any concerns as soon as they crop up, and you’ll experience fewer dental complications during your pregnancy. You’re working closely with your obstetrician or midwife to keep your baby safe. Don’t forget your dentist when it comes to your prenatal health care routine.
Guest post contributed by Laura, on behalf of Glebe Dental Group – Teeth Whitening specialists.