It is commonly believed that professional dental care should be put on hold during pregnancy — but that’s not the case! In truth, it’s all the more important to care for your oral health when you’re expecting a little one.
Did you know that pregnant women may be more prone to gum disease and cavities?
During pregnancy, there is an increased production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone, and this change causes shifts in oral bacteria. Plus, it impacts the body’s reaction to infection, which can lead to the development of gum inflammation, or gingivitis. If you’re experiencing dental issues, you’re not alone! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 70 percent of women experience gingivitis during pregnancy.
On an equally important note, studies show that pregnant women with pre-existing periodontal disease are at higher risk for preterm birth, delivery of babies with low birth weight, and the development of pre-eclampsia.
Other oral health effects that pregnant women may not anticipate include:
- Increased risk of enamel erosion, thanks to morning sickness with vomiting
- Increased risk of cavities, due to cravings and increased sugar intake
- Difficulties with regular brushing, thanks to a stronger gag reflex
Fortunately, all of these issues are preventable and treatable. With biannual appointments and immediate professional care if emergencies arise, it is possible to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.
Here are four tips to help you maintain proper oral health during pregnancy.
- Use a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and/or mouth rinse daily to fight gingivitis.
- If you suffer from morning sickness, be sure to rinse your mouth with water and then freshen your breath with mouth wash after you vomit. Use a toothpaste with stannous fluoride twice a day to help prevent acid erosion.
- If you’re concerned about your diet, monitor your sugar intake. Brush and floss immediately after consuming sugary food. If you want to learn more about sugar’s impact on your teeth, check out this blog post!
- Adjust your routine as needed. Pick a time of day when you feel your best to brush, floss, and rinse.
Not only is your oral health as a mother-to-be essential to your general health, but it’s also a strong predictor of your child’s oral health status. For instance, the CDC reports that, if a mother has a high number of untreated cavities or tooth loss, her children are three times more likely to have cavities.
Be sure to alert your dentist to your pregnancy news.
They can help you understand the potential impact of pre-existing dental conditions and also diagnose and treat conditions that develop during pregnancy.
Reach out to Maitland Ave Smile Co. today to learn more about your options for treating gum disease.
Check out our Dental Blog to learn more about topics like restorative dentistry, wisdom teeth, and teeth whitening.