Pregnancy And Dental Health
Women who are pregnant can expect to experience many changes to their bodies — and this includes changes to their oral health. That’s because pregnancy produces significant shifts in certain hormone levels, which can adversely affect the health of the woman and the baby.
At Grove Dental Associates, we offer a variety of general dentistry services to help moms-to-be maintain their oral health in pregnancy. Here’s a quick look at the connection between pregnancy and oral health, and how you can keep up with the health of your teeth and gums during these pivotal months.
Common Oral Health Problems During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can put women at higher risk of certain oral conditions, such as gingivitis and cavities, so it’s good to know what signs to look for and how to prevent problems. Here are some conditions that may worsen or surface during pregnancy:
- Gingivitis: Most pregnant women experience gingivitis to some degree — the earliest form of gum disease that causes gum swelling, tenderness and bleeding. It is important to seek pregnancy dental care early for gingivitis, as it can progress to periodontal disease — increasing the risk for preterm labor and low birth weight in babies.
- Tooth decay: There are many reasons pregnant women are more prone to cavities. For one, a change in eating habits during pregnancy — such as an increase in the consumption of sugary or starchy foods — can lead to decay. If you experience a lot of morning sickness or vomiting during pregnancy, this can increase the amount of acid in your mouth, which can destroy your tooth enamel and make you more susceptible to cavities.
- Pregnancy tumors: Some expecting mothers develop pregnancy tumors due to hormonal changes in the body. These benign growths form between the teeth, usually during the second trimester, and typically go away by themselves. Although they are harmless, these growths can also be removed if they are bothersome or interfere with eating.
Identifying Dental Problems in Pregnancy
You may experience oral health problems during pregnancy, but the good news is that many of these challenges can be easily met by maintaining the health of your mouth.
If you are expecting, here are some tips about dental care during pregnancy to help you identify and avoid oral health problems:
- Let your dentist know as soon as you are pregnant. We can pay close attention to changes in your mouth during routine visits and address any problems as soon as they arise.
- Commit to good oral hygiene habits during pregnancy to prevent problems. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily. Avoid eating too much sugar to prevent plaque from building up, and follow a well-balanced diet that promotes a healthy mouth and body.
- Look for changes in your teeth and gums during pregnancy. If you detect any abnormalities in your mouth or develop painful oral symptoms, talk to your dentist right away so that we can provide proper treatment.
We’re Here for You and Your Baby
Whether you are expecting your first child or your fifth, it is a very exciting time in a woman’s life. Take care now to make sure poor oral health doesn’t compromise your health or the health of your baby. If you have questions about dental health during pregnancy, contact our practice today. We look forward to providing the extra care and attention you and your baby need.