If you are planning a new addition to your family, you are probably all too aware of how pregnancy will affect your body, but do you know how it can affect your dental health? If you are expecting a baby, it is a time when you need to pay even more attention to your oral health because the hormonal changes can increase the risk of dental problems which include pregnancy gingivitis, a form of gum disease, pregnancy tumours and morning sickness. Poor dental health in mothers has even been linked with preterm and low-birthweight babies in some clinical studies.
Higher progesterone levels during pregnancy can affect your gum health, increasing the sensitivity of your gums to infection-causing bacteria, resulting in a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. It can develop from the second month onwards, so if you notice your gums feel a bit tender, look red or bleed when brushed or flossed, you could have pregnancy gingivitis. The condition can be worsened if you had any signs of gum disease before pregnancy.
Pregnancy gingivitis does clear up once your baby is born, but in the meantime, it is important to be vigilant about your brushing and flossing routine. Also, it might help to have your teeth cleaned professionally more often. Removing bacteria from your gums will make it easier to control pregnancy gingivitis.
Pregnancy tumours are not harmful because they are benign, but these growths can develop on your gums from the second trimester. They will clear up on their own after your baby arrives and don’t usually need to be removed by your dentist in Ajax, but they can be a bit uncomfortable. You will know if you have them because they look a bit like little raspberries in between your teeth.
Morning sickness exposes teeth to strong stomach acid, increasing the risk of tooth enamel erosion. Suffering from acid reflux or heartburn has the same effect on your teeth. The natural reaction is to brush your teeth immediately after being sick, but it is better for your teeth if you rinse your mouth with a solution of baking soda and water because this will help to neutralize the acid. You only need to mix a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water to rinse your mouth before brushing. Otherwise, rinse your mouth with plain water and wait half an hour which will allow acidity levels in your mouth to normalize before brushing. When your mouth is more acidic, your tooth enamel is softer and more easily worn away by brushing. As the acidity levels reduce, your tooth enamel becomes harder and can safely be brushed.
How We Can Help You Maintain Great Dental Health in Pregnancy
Ideally, we recommend scheduling a check-up and cleaning before you become pregnant, but we know this isn’t always feasible! Otherwise, come and see our dentist in Oshawa as soon as you learn the happy news. We can carefully assess your dental health and will devise a suitable treatment plan to help keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy during pregnancy while ensuring all treatments provided will not harm your baby. Routine dental care is perfectly safe and will help to protect your baby.
Once your baby arrives, don’t forget to book their first dental check-up in Whitby. We all love seeing kids and look forward to helping them grow up with a healthy smile!