According to ADA, many women experience nine months with no dental discomfort, while the others suffer worse dental conditions or even catch new ones due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. Negligence over dental health when you are pregnant can result in delivering premature and low-weighing infant.
A small note to all pregnant women: Regular visit to dental clinic for examination and professional cleaning, accompanied with good oral hygiene practice can help keep you and your baby healthy.
How pregnancy can affect your mouth?
Pregnant women’ mouths can be easily affected by the hormonal changes during pregnancy. The most common disease that pregnant women develop is “pregnancy gingivitis”. Your gum is sensitive and tender, it also often bleeds when you brush or floss. Gingivitis can develop to more severe stages of gum disease, known as periodontitis, which not only causes tooth loss but also puts you and your baby health at risk. More frequent professional cleaning may be recommended.
Increased Risk of Tooth Decay
Pregnant women may be more prone to cavities for a number of reasons. Imbalanced diet of more carbohydrates/sugar intake can cause tooth decay. Morning sickness is likely to produce more acid that your mouth is exposed to, which can cause outer covering - enamel to erode
More than that, private oral hygiene can fall by the wayside for some reasons, such as morning sickness, overactive gag reflex , tender gums and exhaustion. It’s especially important to keep up your routine, as poor habits during pregnancy have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
During the second trimester, development of tissue called “pregnancy tumors” on gums may be concern to some women. These “tumors” mostly originates from excess plaque. Although this may disappear after you deliver your baby, it is quite annoying because of swell, tenderness and bleeding. You should talk to your dentist to get advice on this condition.
6 tips for maintaining a healthy mouth during pregnancy
- Brush thoroughly after your meals
- Floss between your teeth at least twice a day.
- Maintain balanced diet. Snack in moderation.
- Visit your dentist regularly for a professional cleaning and check-up.
- Rinsing at night with an antimicrobial mouth rinse, which should be prescribed by the dentist.
- If you have morning sickness and are vomiting frequently, try rinsing with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to stop stomach acid from attacking your teeth.