Pregnancy certainly elicits changes in the body, but did you know that your oral health changes too? It’s nice to feel cared about when you know you have a team of doctors to help you out.
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How Does Pregnancy Affect My Oral Health?
The way your gum tissue reacts to plaque is one of the first changes you may notice in your oral health. This is due to an influx of hormones–particularly, a surge in progesterone and estrogen.
Pregnancy also puts you at a higher risk for conditions like tooth decay, non-cancerous oral growths known as pregnancy tumors (a form of tooth abscess), and gum disease, sometimes referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis”.
What is Pregnancy Gingivitis?
Unfortunately it’s common, but can also be easy to treat. Pregnancy gingivitis refers to a buildup of plaque, resulting in red, swollen, and tender gums. Most women will experience some form of pregnancy gingivitis or gum disease during their pregnancy, starting as early as the second month.
Brushing For Baby
A commitment to brushing and flossing twice daily will help remove plaque, and a thorough cleaning at the dentist is highly encouraged. At bluedot dental Dr. Jeziorski may recommend more frequent cleanings to help keep plaque at bay. You may also want to consider adding an ADA approved, over-the-counter fluoridated mouthwash for extra protection for yourself and your child.
How Does Gingivitis Affect My Baby’s Health?
Researchers have noted a link between gingivitis and babies delivered prematurely or at a low birthweight. This is due to the buildup of bacteria entering your bloodstream and making its way to your uterus, triggering the labor-inducing chemical prostaglandin.
Tooth Abscess During Pregnancy
You may have noticed we mentioned this condition earlier, but it’s nothing to worry about: a tooth abscess known as a non-cancerous pregnancy tumor may develop as a result of gum irritation. They generally shrink in due time after the baby is born. However, your dentist will remove them if they are causing discomfort during your daily routine.
How Do I Stay Healthy Throughout My Pregnancy?
Eat Your Vegetables: A diet rich in pasteurized cheese, fruits, and vegetables will keep your teeth strong. The calcium in cheese and nuts help to strengthen and protect your enamel, while the crunchy vegetables help scrape food particles, debris, and bacteria off of your teeth with each bite.
Schedule Regular Checkups With Your Dentist: As noted earlier, you might need a visit or two beyond the standard bi-annual checkup. This will allow your dentist to monitor your oral health, keeping you and your baby safe.
Brush and Floss Religiously: Make brushing and flossing twice a day one of your biggest priorities. This helps sweep the mouth clean of decaying food particles, debris, and bacteria that can develop into gingivitis.
Come See Us at Our Family Dentistry in Gilbert, AZ!
At BlueDot Dental, we have been treating expectant mothers for years! Please contact us today if you have any questions about your oral health during pregnancy or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeziorski.