Pregnancy and how it affects your oral health.
While keeping your mouth healthy is important, it becomes even more so during pregnancy. As your hormones change you may face oral health issues such as gum and bone disease. The following preventative measures will help keep your smile healthy and reduce risks such as low birth weight and pre-term delivery.
One of the most problematic symptoms you can experience in pregnancy is morning sickness. Repeated exposure to stomach acid can wreak havoc on your enamel causing tooth decay and erosion. These steps should be taken following any episodes of vomiting:
- Rinse your mouth with water or fluoride mouth wash (if you can stand it) immediately following the episode
- After rinsing your mouth, wait for at least 30 minutes to further reduce the acid in your mouth
- Brush your teeth
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste using a soft bristled toothbrush
- Drink fluoridated water where available
Schedule a checkup and cleaning in your first trimester to assess the current state of your oral health.
Your hormone changes can affect your gums. They may be more sensitive and they might bleed easily, even if you have good oral hygiene.
Between months 3 and 9 gestation, you may experience pregnancy gingivitis. This is when your gums become swollen, red, and/or irritated from bacteria along your gumline. It is important to see your dentist during pregnancy as gingivitis may turn into periodontitis. Most pregnancy-related gum issues will resolve themselves after giving birth, however, if they do not it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Visiting Your Dentist
If you do need dental work during pregnancy – the best time to have your work completed is during your second trimester. It is a good idea to avoid X-rays while you are pregnant. X-rays of your mouth should only be taken in an emergency. If you need an X-ray, make sure you are covered with a lead apron to protect your baby from the radiation.
Contact us today to set up your next appointment!