Oral Health and Pregnancy
When you are expecting a baby, you have a lot going on. Your body is experiencing numerous changes to grow your new little bundle of joy. You have a lot on your mind as you prepare for their arrival. During this time, you probably do your best to take care of yourself. You try to eat well, drink plenty of water, and rest. One thing you do not want to neglect during your pregnancy is your oral health. Even though you have so much going on, taking care of your mouth is now more important than it was before. Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry can help.
Pregnancy and the Risk for Gum Disease
When you are pregnant, your hormones change. These changes in your hormones can make you more vulnerable to developing gum disease. Increases in estrogen and progesterone change how your gums react to plaque and bacteria, making the tissue more likely to become irritated and inflamed. This is what is known as pregnancy gingivitis. Without treatment, pregnancy gingivitis can turn into more advanced stages of gum disease.
The swollen tissue begins to pull away from your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria, plaque, and other debris get trapped below the gumline, allowing the disease to progress. Advanced stages of gum disease affect your gums, your jawbone, and your overall health. These stages of gum disease can also affect your unborn child, causing issues such as preeclampsia, preterm birth, and low birth weight.
The Effects of Morning Sickness
Despite being called morning sickness, this issue affects many pregnant women at all different times of day. Morning sickness causes you to vomit. The stomach acids that come up when you do are strong enough to erode the protective enamel of your teeth. This erosion can increase your risk of developing decay and cavities.
You may want to brush your teeth immediately after vomiting, but it is recommended that you do not do so right away. Doing so could cause more damage to the teeth because they are weakened from stomach acids. Rather than brushing your teeth, mix baking soda with water and swish the solution around in your mouth. It can help to neutralize the lingering acids.
Changes in your hormones that occur during pregnancy can lead to what is known as pregnancy tumors. While this might sound scary, pregnancy tumors are benign. They typically appear during the second trimester and are located in the areas between your teeth. In most cases, pregnancy tumors do not cause any complications. However, if you have pregnancy tumors that are causing you discomfort, they can be removed. Once you have given birth, the tumors will disappear.
How Can I Take Care of My Mouth During Pregnancy?
Taking care of your mouth is essential all of the time. It is especially important during pregnancy, however. Not only are you taking care of your oral health for you, but you are also doing so for your unborn child. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. You should also maintain your routine dental cleanings and exams during your pregnancy. It is essential that you let us know you are pregnant, as certain types of procedures may need to be delayed until after your child is born.
Good oral hygiene is not just important for you. It is also important for your developing baby. If you have any questions or concerns, call Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry at 360-659-8100, 360-863-8700, 425-367-4149, 360-339-8000 today.