Oral Health During Pregnancy
- Posted on: Aug 30 2018
Pregnancy has a way of turning a woman’s life upside down in the best possible way. Between that baby bump and breathing methods and baby showers, we can hardly expect a mom-to-be to put much thought into her smile. That’s our job. If you are in the whirlwind time of pregnancy, we want you to know what to expect regarding dental symptoms and how to keep your mouth healthy while expecting.
Why Gums Bleed During Pregnancy
Morning sickness, breast tenderness, swollen ankles. These are all effects of pregnancy that women expect. Bleeding gums? Maybe not. It just so happens that the gums are more likely to bleed, look puffy, and get infected during pregnancy. Just like that morning-time nausea, we can blame this on hormones.
A woman’s body goes through several changes during pregnancy. Some prepare her for breastfeeding; some prepare her for childbirth. The additional secretion of hormones has a loosening effect on muscles, tendons, and soft tissues. This helps make childbirth possible, and it is also what exacerbates a woman’s risk for gum disease.
A Little Self Care Goes a Long Way
Expectant mothers have a lot to think about. The potential for gum disease and other dental problems should not cause unnecessary worry. Women are encouraged to schedule a thorough dental checkup and cleaning when trying to conceive. If you’re a bit behind on your dental exams, don’t worry. You can see the dentist after about 20 weeks of pregnancy for a routine exam – sans x-rays. Additionally:
- Be extra mindful about brushing your teeth every morning and night. Consistency and a soft touch are what your gums need most right now.
- Floss every day. Nighttime is a great time to floss gently, making sure to get just beneath the gum line, because bacteria may become more active when you sleep.
- Drink plenty of water, and also swish it, too. Swishing water through the mouth dilutes residue, including acidity from nausea and vomiting.
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Posted in: General Dentistry