Taking proper care of your teeth is essential all the time, but especially when you’re pregnant.
Did you know that pregnant women need to be particularly careful when it comes to their dental care? That’s right, if you are pregnant, not only do you have to keep a close eye on your diet, your sleep schedule and your supplement intake, you also have to be incredibly vigilant about taking proper care of your teeth and gums. This is because the hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy can affect every part of your body, and your mouth is no exception. It is important to maintain good oral health during pregnancy as any infection can affect the baby.
Pregnant women face many different oral concerns, including:
- Gum Disease – Increased levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can cause gums to bleed or become red and swollen, and can increase the propensity for plaque buildup. It is common to have sensitive and tender gum tissue. Pregnancy gingivitis, a form of gum disease, can develop over time if you aren’t careful, and not only can it affect your health, it can affect your baby’s health as well. Effective rushing and flossing are essential during pregnancy to reduce plaque and prevent pregnancy gingivitis.
- Dry Mouth – Not only can the hormonal shift during pregnancy increase your risk of developing gum disease, it can also lead to decreased saliva production and dry mouth. Without the proper amount of saliva in your mouth, it is more difficult to break down food and can lead to the growth of bacteria on your teeth and gums, making your more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. If you are experiencing dry mouth, make sure that you drink plenty of water. It’s also a good idea to talk to your dentist about any other solutions they may have to combat your dry mouth.
- Tooth Erosion – One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy is morning sickness, and unfortunately, to add insult to injury, the acid that comes up when you vomit can also cause tooth decay. You should always rinse the acid out of your mouth with water or an over the counter rinse that can reduce the pH level in your mouth before you brush. If you find yourself struggling with morning sickness frequently, talk to your physician and dentist about what you can do to reduce your nausea and vomiting and prevent tooth erosion.
As you can see, dental care is another important thing to keep in mind during pregnancy. The proper oral hygiene habits can keep your baby and yourself healthy and happy! Whether you think you may have one of the above dental issues or you are due for a dental examination, our dentist in Lawrence is happy to help. Schedule your appointment today, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns about taking care of your teeth and gums during your pregnancy.