Pregnancy and Your Teeth
Raging hormones, swollen ankles, stretch marks, frequent visits to the toilet, midnight cravings. And that’s just the beginning!
With a horde of inconvenient and unusual symptoms that you get to experience during the course of your pregnancy, you also get to deal with odd changes to your teeth and gums.
Pregnancy can lead to dental problems in some women, such as increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. However, being pregnant doesn’t mean your teeth are automatically on a downhill slope. With proper planning and good dental hygiene, you can hopefully avoid these problems. Let’s explore some of the dental risks of pregnancy and how to battle them.
How Does Pregnancy Impact Your Oral Health?
There can be multiple causes of dental health problems during pregnancy. Hormone fluctuations can make some women susceptible to having sensitive, swollen and bleeding gums. Hormonal changes in your body can increase your chances of developing gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis.
Often hand in hand with pregnancy comes vomiting from morning sickness, or cravings from sugary foods. The acid from vomit can coat your teeth, stripping them of their enamel and making you more vulnerable to tooth decay. Sugary snacks feed the bacteria in your mouth and cause the same effect.
Dental Disease Can Affect Your Baby
There is a known link between gum disease and pregnant women and premature birth with low birth rate. Prematurely born babies are at risk for health conditions like cerebral palsy and problems with hearing or eyesight.
Periodontal disease is responsible for 18 percent of premature births, so it is very important to get appropriate dental treatment if you want to lower your child’s risk of health problems.
How Can I Avoid Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Simple. Get into the habit of cleaning your teeth properly every day. Twice a day. Using a soft bristled toothbrush or a good quality rotary power toothbrush. Modern power toothbrushes remove plaque more effectively than an ordinary manual toothbrush.
Take your time. You should spend at least 2 minutes brushing to remove the plaque constantly building up on your teeth. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride to help prevent decay. Then, clean between your teeth with floss, or other types of interdental brushes. These help to remove plaque where your toothbrush can not reach – which is about 40% of your tooth surfaces!
Regular visits to the Dentist or Hygienist during your pregnancy will help keep your oral health on track.
Inform Your Dentist If You Are Pregnant
It is important to inform your dentist as soon as you believe you are pregnant, as this doesn’t only affect your oral health, but it can affect your dental care.
If you are pregnant and concerned about your oral health, the team at Ballina Coast Dental are sensitive to your plight and happy to help.