Pregnancy comes with all sorts of changes to your body, and one that is often overlooked is your oral health. Between the weight gain, nausea, and extreme fatigue, it’s easy for your oral health to fall off of your radar. But this is the time when you need to pay much more attention to your teeth.
Women are much more likely to experience gingivitis while pregnant. This is an infection of the gums that causes swelling, tenderness, bleeding and can even affect the tissue that holds your teeth. The surge in your hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, exaggerates the way gum tissues react to plaque. If you already had gingivitis before you were pregnant, it is likely to become much worse while you are. If left untreated it can lead to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis.
Pregnancy and Oral Health
Pregnant women can also experience something called pregnancy tumors. These are small, non-cancerous growths that develop on the gums when they become irritated. They will usually shrink on their own after the baby is born, but if it is uncomfortable, your dentist may want to remove it.
So what can you do to prevent these dental problems?
- Keep your teeth clean. Make sure to brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and pay close attention to the area close to your gums. If you are experiencing nausea and vomiting throughout the day, be sure to have a toothbrush on hand in case you need an extra brush. Also, make sure you are flossing and rinsing every day.
- Practice good nutrition. Be aware of the foods you are eating. The bacteria that causes plaque loves sugar, so eating sugary foods and drinking soda can lead to many problems.
- Visit your dentist more frequently. It’s a good idea to get in more often for cleanings while you’re pregnant. Being proactive can prevent costly dental work down the line, and it will also give you peace of mind. Put your dentist on the list of people to call when you find out you’re pregnant. They can answer any questions you have about caring for your teeth through this exciting time.
For more information about caring for your teeth, please call Mann Family Dental at (603) 716-9812 to arrange an appointment.