Pregnancy is a busy time, but for your mouth, it can be a dangerous one. Hormonal changes in your body can leave your oral health, and your overall health, at risk.
Women are more likely to get gingivitis when they are pregnant, an infection of the gums that can lead to swelling. Bleeding may also occur while brushing and flossing your teeth. Without treatment, it can affect the tissues that keep your teeth in their proper position. To make sure gingivitis does not affect you, your dentist may recommend visits more than once during your pregnancy.
In addition to gingivitis, tiny lumps on the surface of your gums may also appear, and these can bleed easily. They are often called “pregnancy tumors,” but they are not dangerous and usually disappear after your child is born.
Check out this great video about Pregnancy and Newborn Oral Health from the American Dental Association!
Crucial Dental Care
Visit your dentist during pregnancy. Make sure your dentist knows that you are pregnant and report changes in your oral condition to them. If you are taking any medications or supplements, let them know this as well.
If your dentist is to prescribe medication as part of more extensive treatment, he or she will avoid drugs considered unsafe for pregnant women. By example, penicillin or amoxicillin may be safe, but tetracycline can stain the fetus’ teeth permanently and will not be used.
At times it may be very important to obtain an x-ray of your teeth for treatment during pregnancy. This may cause concern, however, your dentist will protect you with a special apron for your abdomen, and a thyroid collar. Discuss this thoroughly with your dentist to allay any fears you may have.
Take care of your own teeth!
Cavities and gum disease can cause you to go to the dentist for treatment more than you have to. Brush your teeth carefully two times daily with fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to clean between teeth with floss or other method. It is best to ask your dentist or hygienist the best way to do this correctly.
You are what you eat.
Avoid sugary, high-carb snacks that can cling to teeth, cause bacterial plaque and other problems. Bacteria have the ability to convert sugars and starches to acids which can eat away at tooth enamel. The best way to prevent this is to say “no” to the wrong foods. It’s better for your baby, too!
Oral health affects the entire body.
Our oral health is an important part of your overall health, and untreated dental disease can be harmful to you and your baby. Be sure to include your oral health in your daily self-care routine and keep your dentist informed of any changes in your oral health during pregnancy.