Pregnant women need to take special care of their teeth. Hormonal changes can affect the gums causing them to become red, swollen, and highly sensitive.
About 75 percent of pregnant women suffer from some type of periodontal disease.
Getting dental treatment from a licensed Huntsville Family Dentistry expert is important since dental diseases may negatively affect the development of the baby. Research shows a clear link between premature delivery and dental disease during pregnancy.
Periodontal Diseases and Pregnancy: An Overview
Pregnant women often suffer from morning sickness during the first trimester. The condition involves a feeling of nausea that is often accompanied by vomiting. Women also often experience acid reflux that may contribute to tooth erosion by gastric acids. The gastric acid that comes from the stomach can erode the enamel of the tooth making it sensitive.
Consider swishing the mouth with water and baking soda immediately after feeling morning sickness. You should rinse the teeth with a mixture of a teaspoon of baking soda and water. This will help in reducing the effects of gastric acid thereby minimizing damage to the teeth.
During pregnancy, hormones can also make the gums swell. Also known as pregnancy gingivitis, the condition occurs due to changing hormones during pregnancy. The gums will bleed more frequently during pregnancy, requiring extra care.
Tips to Prevent Dental Diseases When Pregnant
The American Pregnancy Association recommends that you remain proactive about looking after your teeth. Make sure that you regularly visit the dentist for a dental checkup during pregnancy. The dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to remove tartar buildup that will reduce the risk of gum diseases.
To reduce the risk of gum irritation, you should use a soft bristled toothbrush. In addition, you should consider flossing the teeth every day to remove the food stuck in places that are hard to reach by a toothbrush.
You also need to eat healthy foods and avoid carbonated and other food items that can damage the teeth. Here are some other tips that can help you keep your teeth healthy during pregnancy.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Clean along the gum line to reduce plaque formation
- Ideally, floss before bedtime to reduce the risk of dental diseases
- Limit intake of processed juices containing sugar
- Brush twice ideally after every meal
- Limit food items that will stick to the mouth during pregnancy
- Do not drink alcohol or smoke cigarette to avoid dental disease
Avoid brushing your teeth about half an hour after vomiting. This is important as brushing can accelerate the erosion of tooth enamel. As mentioned previously, you should rinse the mouth with a mixture of water and baking soda to avoid damage to the teeth.
Importance of Seeing a Dentist During Pregnancy
You need to take special care of your teeth during pregnancy. This is important to avoid dental diseases and to ensure a healthy delivery.
Make sure that you visit the dentist after every four to five months during pregnancy. Tell your dental doctor that you are pregnant. Any infection or swelling needs to be treated to avoid any risk to you or the baby.
Dental treatment such as filings will help in reducing the chance of an infection. Any dental treatment must ideally be performed during the second trimester. This is important since sitting on the back for an extended period may be difficult during the third trimester. You should postpone any dental treatment after the onset of the third trimester and until after the birth. In addition, any cosmetic treatment such as teeth whitening should be positioned to avoid any risk to the developing baby.