Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative time in a woman’s life. However, it is also a period where various changes occur within the body, including potential impacts on oral health. In today’s blog, your Cleveland, TX, dentist will explore the connection between pregnancy and dental health.
Hormonal Changes and The Gums
During pregnancy, hormonal changes can have a significant impact on gum health. Increased levels of progesterone can lead to an exaggerated response from the body to increase plaque. The bacteria within it cause gums to become swollen, tender, and more prone to bleeding. This condition is known as pregnancy gingivitis. It is essential to maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using antimicrobial mouthwash to prevent and manage this condition.
Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy
Periodontal disease, characterized by infection and inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues, has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth and low birth weight. The bacteria present in the infected gums can enter the bloodstream and trigger an inflammatory response throughout the body. Pregnant women should pay extra attention to their gum health and visit their dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups.
Morning Sickness and Enamel Erosion
Morning sickness is a common symptom experienced by many pregnant women, particularly during the first trimester. The repeated exposure of stomach acid to teeth due to vomiting can cause dental erosion. To minimize the risk, it is recommended to rinse the mouth with water or fluoride mouthwash after vomiting instead of brushing immediately, as the tooth enamel may be softened by the acid.
Cravings and Dental Decay
Cravings are another reason we often see more decay. Frequent consumption of snack foods without proper oral care can lead to the build-up of plaque and eventual tooth decay. It is important to maintain a balanced diet and limit sugary or acidic foods, and if consumed, brushing or rinsing the mouth afterward can help reduce the risk of cavities.
Maintain Dental Care
Some women may need dental treatments during their pregnancy. Routine dental care, such as cleanings and fillings, can be safely done during pregnancy. However, to minimize potential risks, elective dental procedures, cosmetic treatments, and dental x-rays should be postponed until after delivery. It is crucial to inform your dentist about your pregnancy so that they can tailor treatments accordingly.
Schedule An Appointment Today!
Remember, caring for your teeth is not only about aesthetics but also about ensuring a healthy start for your little one. Contact your Cleveland, TX, dentist, Dr. Stephens, by calling (281) 592-1234.