As if being pregnant doesn’t cause a mother-to-be enough changes! Even so, in addition to other health care routines, proper dental care during pregnancy is critical. That’s because pregnancy causes a lot of changes in the body, including the mouth and teeth.
Here are some of the dental conditions common among pregnant women as well as tips on how to prevent them no matter what stage of pregnancy you’re in:
Many women notice changes in their gums during pregnancy. The gums may appear slightly redder than usual and may frequently bleed while brushing. Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition affecting mothers-to-be as early as their second month, and usually diminishes around the 8-month mark.
The symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis are just like what anyone with gingivitis experiences, except that for pregnant women, the front teeth are more often affected than the back teeth. The reason gingivitis is prevalent among pregnant women is due to increased levels of the hormone progesterone, which can enhance bacteria growth. Paired with an out-of-whack immune system (thanks, pregnancy!), it’s more difficult for a pregnant woman to fight off the bacteria.
Good oral health habits can help keep the pregnancy gingivitis at bay. This includes the usual suspects: brushing teeth at least twice a day, flossing, and using a mouth rinse. And keep those regularly scheduled dental visits but be sure to tell your dentist that you’re pregnant and what your concerns may be.
Some women spend a good part of their first trimester suffering morning sickness. The frequent vomiting of stomach acids can wreak havoc on teeth, primarily the rear of the front teeth.
If plagued by morning sickness, do not brush your teeth following an episode. Instead, gargle with a mixture of warm water and baking soda to neutralize the presence of stomach acids. If vomiting continues, keep rinsing with the same solution until the vomiting has ceased. Brushing your teeth while acids are still present in the mouth is a terrible idea because it will literally scrub the acids onto the tooth enamel causing even more damage. The teeth are softer when coated with acids, and the act of brushing is akin to scraping enamel off with sandpaper.
Overall Dental Care
So many other conditions caused by pregnancy may harm an expectant mother’s dental health.
Proper dental care should consist of brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
Eat a diet high in protein, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and D. Use an antibacterial mouthwash to help fight gingivitis – especially ones that lower the acidity level (pH) in the mouth.
The second trimester is the best time for dental procedures aside from regular cleanings or checkups. By then, the fetus is not as fragile and more developed. However, many dentists advise putting off those procedures that can be delayed until after the birth.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, visit a dentist familiar with treating women at every stage of pregnancy. Call My Pompano Dentist at (954) 941-2412 or request a checkup online and entrust your dental care while pregnant to the best hands in the area.