A women’s body is constantly changing during pregnancy. Hormonal changes and an increase of blood flow can cause swelling, sensitivity in gums while pregnant. However, only 22 to 34 percent of women in the United States visit a dentist during pregnancy. In this blog post, we’ll go over the common changes during pregnancy and how to be proactive on oral health.
Tell Your Dentist
The first thing you want to be sure to tell your dentist is that you’re pregnant and how far along you are. Don’t put off dental check-ups until after the delivery. If you’re planning to become pregnant or suspect you’re pregnant, then you should see a dentist right away. A great rule is to schedule a check-up in your first trimester for a cleaning. That way your dentist can help your mouth remain healthy throughout your pregnancy. Some women will schedule an extra cleanings to try to maintain good oral health because of the link to the baby’s overall health. More often than not, any mobility in the teeth will correct itself following the baby’s birth. Hormonal changes cause the bone/ligaments supporting the teeth to be more pliable and thats where the increased mobility comes from during pregnancy.
Use Mouthwash to Fight Gingivitis & Periodontal Disease
During pregnancy, women’s gums are more likely to become inflamed, commonly referred to as gingivitis. Most pregnant women will experience some bleeding of their gums as early as the second month, especially while brushing or flossing their teeth. Sometimes expecting mothers can have infected gums, called periodontal disease. Use antiplaque and fluoride mouthwashes to help fight gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Poor Dental Hygiene Can Harm Your Baby
Decaying teeth can cause infection that could harm your baby. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through your gums. Bacteria then travels to the uterus, triggering the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which are suspected to induce premature labor. Research has shown that an expectant mother suffering from periodontal disease might deliver a premature, low birth weight baby. Pregnant women may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born earlier and smaller that the usual, which may increase the risk for future health problems and disabilities. Dental emergencies that create severe pain can be treated during any trimester. But you want to be extremely careful when dealing with medications or dental emergencies that require anesthesia. Avoid dental X-rays during pregnancy if possible. Make sure to talk to your obstetrician first.
Protect Your Mouth From Morning Sickness
Sometimes brushing can even cause morning sickness. You should resist the temptation to brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. This can further damage your enamel. Instead, just rub or smear some fluoridated toothpaste over your teeth and then rinse out with water. You can also rinse out your mouth with a mixture of a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water.