Women go through a lot of changes when they are pregnant which not only affect them but also the child. This is why taking care of your general health, including your oral health, is crucial. Between designing the baby’s nursery and going for regular prenatal check-ups, don’t forget to visit your dentist! We have listed some of the most common dental problems that you may experience during pregnancy:
This is a common dental issue for adults, although it is more common in expectant women because of hormonal changes. In the early stages, it is called gingivitis, and it might grow into a serious condition which is linked to cardiac arrest, premature births or even strokes. If you are showing signs of gingivitis, your dentist will recommend that you clean your teeth more frequently. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are vital to your overall health. It’s also a good idea to have a cleaning done by your dentist right before you start trying to get pregnant and then go back to regular cleanings after the baby is born.
As a pregnant woman, your elevated hormones can affect the response of your body to plaque which contains bacteria which can lead to cavities as well as gum disease. When one is expectant, you might experience morning sickness. The acid from the stomach can coat one`s teeth when you vomit, which can result in dental erosion and can also increase the chances of tooth decay. Here is what is recommended:
- Do not brush teeth for at least an hour after vomiting. Stomach acid softens the teeth and waiting offers the enamel time to recover from the acid.
- Rinse your mouth with plain water then follow with a fluoridated alcohol-free mouth wash right after vomiting to aid you in washing away the acid.
- After rinsing your mouth, you can put a small dab of toothpaste on your finger and rub it onto your teeth then rinse with water again.
If you are in the category of women who experience food cravings during pregnancy, satisfy your cravings by dishing up healthy options like fresh fruits. Ensure you rinse your mouth using water after eating to decrease the risk of tooth decay.
Some women experience tissue overgrowth known as “pregnancy tumors” which appears on the gums, mostly when they are on the 2nd trimester. The growth is not cancerous, but it is merely swelling which happens mostly between teeth. This can be linked to excess plaque. They easily bleed and appear very red. Typically, they disappear after the child is born, though if you have any concerns, you can visit your dentist.
With the appropriate oral health at home and help from your dentist, your teeth will stay healthy all through your pregnancy. You should do the following:
- Brush your teeth for approximately 2 minutes two times a day
- Rinse out your mouth after eating snacks and food
- Go to the dentist two times a year, and maybe more often when you are expectant
- Make sure you eat a balanced diet
Ensure that your dentist knows any prescription medications you are taking. These details will assist your dentist to determine the kind of medication, if any, to give you. Also, your dentist can talk to your doctor to choose medications, such as pain meds or antibiotics, that are safe to use during pregnancy. Your dentist and doctor will aid you if you have any concerns about your baby or your health in general.