Pregnancy affects almost every aspect of a woman’s life including her dental health. While most women tend to think that taking care of their mouth and teeth isn’t a big deal, research shows that there is a strong relationship between the dental health of the mother and the overall health of the baby. In between the long trips to a doctor, hospital tours, and preparing to receive the baby, visiting a dentist may be the last thing on your pregnancy to-do list which can be dangerous.
Seeing your dentist regularly while pregnant is critical for your dental health and it might help in reducing the wide range of pregnancy problems associated with poor dental care. You need to remember the fact that during pregnancy, your body secretes a lot of pregnancy hormones that can make your gums easily irritated and inflamed.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Teeth?
Although a significant number of women make it through the nine months of pregnancy with no any significant dental discomfort, pregnancy can sometimes make certain conditions worse or even create new ones. Regular dental checkups and good dental care habits can help keep you and your baby healthy. Most women say that they notice a significant difference in their gums during pregnancy which is among the most common dental issues among expectant mothers.
What Are Some of the Special Oral Health Concerns of Pregnant Women?
Pregnancy gingivitis is a collective term that is used to refer to a wide range of dental problems that tend to affect pregnant women. Pregnancy gingivitis can either start as early as the second month of pregnancy or delay up to the eighth month. The condition usually disappears after the baby is born. Pregnancy gingivitis is common in front of the mouth, and its symptoms are similar to those of gingivitis, but some of its causes are quite different. An increased pregnancy hormone level is the primary cause of pregnancy gingivitis since the hormones enhance the growth of bacteria.
Pregnant women also face an increased risk of tooth decay due to increased cravings for sugary foods. If you are also consuming more carbohydrates than usual, it could lead to teeth decay. Research shows that morning sickness increases the amount of acid that the mouth is exposed to which can lead to rapid erosion of the enamel. Sticking to recommended oral care habits such as brushing at least twice a day and flossing may also fall by the wayside during pregnancy which could affect your dental health.
Should You Visit Your Dentist If You Are Pregnant?
The simple answer is yes. In fact, this is the most crucial time of your life that you need to see your dentist as often as possible. Even if you only think that you are pregnant, it is good to let your dentist know about it. Let him/her know how old your pregnancy is when you visit. You should also inform your dentist of any medications that you are taking or if you have received any special advice from your physician.
Taking Care of Your Teeth During Pregnancy
For healthy teeth and gums during pregnancy, make sure that you stick to your normal oral care program. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks if possible. You should also eat a wide variety of healthy foods and remember to brush and floss daily.