How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health - Care Advice from Your Red Deer Dentists
Today’s blog explains why some women struggle with healthy teeth and gums during pregnancy.
They may not appear closely related, but your oral health plays a significant role during pregnancy. Maintaining clean and healthy teeth and gums can significantly decrease your risk of delivering a premature or low birth-weight baby. Pregnancy can be a highly-sensitive time in a woman’s life including an increased susceptibility to oral infections. Fortunately, keeping up with proper dental habits at home and paying regular visits to your dentist in Red Deer, can help your teeth remain strong and healthy throughout your pregnancy.
Why Women Struggle with Healthy Teeth and Gums During Pregnancy
Focusing on your oral health is most likely lower down on your list of priorities when you are expecting a baby. However, keeping your teeth and mouth healthy throughout this special time is essential for a healthy mother and baby. Here are a few reasons why you may occasionally struggle with maintaining good oral hygiene while pregnant and what you can do about it:
- Morning Sickness: One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy is morning sickness. While it may be difficult to avoid, vomiting associated with morning sickness can leave a high trace of stomach acid in your mouth. Acids can quickly erode tooth enamel and put your teeth at risk of decay. To get rid of excess acid, avoid brushing your teeth immediately after becoming sick and gently rinse your mouth with a fluoridated mouthwash or plain tap water instead.
- Hormone Sensitivity: Believe it or not, hormone changes experienced during pregnancy can affect the health of your teeth and gums. While increased hormone levels do not cause more plaque build-up, it can adversely affect how your body responds to plaque. Therefore, plaque build-up can leave women especially vulnerable to gum problems such as gingivitis, periodontal disease, and bleeding gums.
- Pregnancy Gingivitis: Most common in the second trimester, pregnancy gingivitis can happen when harmful bacteria settle along your gum line. Symptoms of gingivitis include swelling and bleeding of the gums, especially during brushing or flossing. Increased hormone levels make gums particularly sensitive. Make sure to gently and regularly brush and floss your teeth during pregnancy to prevent gingivitis and other diseases.
- Unhealthy Food Cravings: Eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy is not only important for the health of your growing baby, but it is also essential for your oral health. Even if you crave sugary foods and drinks, try to limit your consumption of these snacks and reach for fresh fruits instead. You can also strengthen your teeth and gums by eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and calcium; or take a multivitamin.
It is important to tell your dentist if you are currently pregnant, as X-rays and certain dental procedures, if necessary, may be avoided while you are expecting. If you are in your first trimester, book a check-up with your Red Deer Family dentist who can clean your teeth and monitor your oral health. You and your baby are in the best hands at Parkland Mall Dental Centre. If you would like to learn more about our office and services, please give us a call and read more about our services!
If you are expecting, visit us for all your dental needs. Call us at 403-342-1118 or use our online contact form to schedule an appointment. We are currently taking new patients, so please don’t hesitate to ask how we can help you.