How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Oral Health

Pregnancy and dental health are connected in a number of ways. It is very important to practice good oral health care in general, but particularly when pregnant. Evidence continues to be found involving pregnant women, low birth weight, and premature births. Women who have gum disease can see labor induced once pregnant as gum disease becomes much worse during pregnancy. The risk of low birth weight or having a premature baby is also present.

The goal of a soon-to-be mother should be to minimize the risk of health issues due to oral problems during pregnancy. Women should watch out for common conditions and take care of oral health needs each day. Such issues to watch for include:

  • When considering pregnancy, visit the dentist to see if any oral health issues are present
  • When pregnant, teeth and gums need attention. Brush teeth twice a day and floss. Be sure to eat a balanced diet and continue to visit the dentist to ensure oral health.
  • Morning sickness can create additional acid in the mouth if vomiting takes place. If you have morning sickness, be sure to rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash consisting of fluoride to keep acid levels to a minimum. The acid can actually erode the teeth.
  • Dry mouth is also an issue during pregnancy. With a dry mouth, you can be at risk for infection or tooth decay. Be sure to drink water to stay hydrated and use sugarless gum to keep saliva in production.

Noticing Changes

Pregnant women often notice changes in the mouth involving oral health. Gums can look redder in appearance and bleed when brushing. Swelling can take place in the gum area which can lead to bleeding due to sensitivity. These symptoms are actually part of a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis.

This condition can start as early as two months in the pregnancy and can peak at around eight months. Once the baby is born, the mom should see symptoms cease. The reason the condition occurs during pregnancy takes place due to an increased number of hormones. The hormones will exaggerate the way the gums react to irritants in plaque that is found in the mouth.

Progesterone can be increased at a high rate which can lead to the growth of bacteria which will create gingivitis. The immune system is unable to cope with the bacteria which can lead to oral health issues. The best way to minimize enduring pregnancy gingivitis is to practice good oral habits. When brushing teeth, do so for two minutes, two times a day. Floss each day to remove food particles.

Use a mouth rinse to ensure no plaque or food particles remain. If you find that you are experiencing dental health issues while pregnant, consult with a dental professional. Your dentist will be able to review your teeth and gums, determining what course of action to take to promote good oral health.

Contact our Cadot dental office today to learn more about pregnancy dental health, scheduling an appointment to ensure your teeth are in good condition.