With all of the incredible changes your body goes through during pregnancy, it may come as no surprise that pregnancy can also affect your oral hygiene. Whether it be due to hormones, side effects from other pregnancy symptoms, or simply your hygiene falling by the wayside as you deal with more pressing matters, your mouth can suffer greatly during this time if not properly taken care of. Keep reading to learn about the top 3 things to look out for while pregnant, along with how you can keep up with your dental hygiene.
1. Pregnancy Gingivitis
Your mouth, just like other parts of your body, can be affected by your pregnancy hormonal changes. Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition that some women can develop during pregnancy, which is an inflammation of the gums and causes swelling and tenderness. When brushing or flossing, your gums may start to bleed as well. The condition can be prevented by more frequent dental visits, as it has the potential to lead to more serious forms of gum disease if it is left untreated.
2. Tooth Decay
Cavities are a very common and typical potential risk for people on a daily basis. During pregnancy, however, your risk for developing cavities increases quite drastically. Pregnancy cravings can have you eating more carbohydrates than usual, potentially leading to tooth decay. Morning sickness results in a significant amount of acid in the mouth – acid that eats away at your tooth enamel.
Due to the plethora of other negative side effects that pregnancy brings, your oral hygiene can simply become a passing thought as you deal with morning sickness, tender gums, exhaustion, and a more sensitive gag reflex. Unfortunately, failing to maintain a proper oral health routine and good hygiene habits can have incredibly harmful effects on you and your baby. Poor habits have been linked to premature delivery, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and intrauterine growth restriction.
3. Pregnancy Tumors
Pregnancy tumors – overgrowths of tissue on the gums – have been known to affect some pregnant women during their second trimester. This swelling that occurs, usually between the teeth, is likely due to an excess of plaque. Thankfully, these tumors typically go away after your baby is born, although you can get them removed if they become too much of a nuisance.
Keeping Up With Your Dental Health During Pregnancy
Thankfully, regular visits and checkups with your dentist are perfectly safe and healthy throughout the duration of your pregnancy. It is perhaps even more important to schedule regular visits during this time so that your oral health can be at its best for when your baby does arrive. In fact, the American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all encourage women to get dental care while pregnant. Aharon Hagai, D.M.D., says, “It is a crucial period of time in a woman’s life and maintaining oral health is directly related to good overall health.” So get that cavity filled, filling changed, and each tooth polished to perfection for when you meet your newest family member.
Contact Revitalizing Smiles today to schedule an appointment today and be on your way to improving your dental health while pregnant. We welcome patients from Fairfield, Trumbull, Monroe, Westport, Bridgeport, and Greenwich and all over the tri-state area. Make an appointment today!