While pregnancy is an exciting time of expectation for families, it brings a multitude of changes, from fluctuating hormonal levels to food aversions, nausea and morning sickness. Notably, these symptoms can negatively impact oral health, even if they subside following the first trimester. Thus, if you are expecting, here’s what you need to know about pregnancy and your oral health.
Perhaps you had a record of good oral care prior to your pregnancy. Yet, exhaustion and nausea have caused you to skip brushing or flossing here and there. Further, maybe the smell of your toothpaste makes you sick. In another case, suppose you are brushing and flossing normally, but you notice that your gums are sensitive and bleeding. It’s important to understand—changing hormonal levels leads to changes in gum tissues. Therefore, if gums appear red and irritated, or if they bleed during brushing, this is most likely pregnancy gingivitis. While common, this type of gingivitis shouldn’t be ignored. The key is keeping up with regular dental visits, along with consistent brushing (using a soft-bristled toothbrush) and flossing.
Meanwhile, if you are one of many women plagued with stomach issues and vomiting during pregnancy, dentists suggest rinsing with water after getting sick. During vomiting, stomach acids that come in contact with teeth can weaken and strip tooth enamel. This means that teeth are more susceptible to decay. Yet, a thorough rinse with water can help wash away remaining acids and bacteria that have settled on the surfaces of teeth.
Finally, if you’ve noticed what appears to be a small tumor or bubble along your gum line, this might be a pregnancy tumor. Though non-cancerous, these tumors are raw-looking and resemble a raspberry, according to MouthHealthy. In essence, they are overgrowths of tissue, and most likely the gum’s reaction to a build-up of plaque. Generally, pregnancy tumors disappear following the birth of the baby, but dentists can remove them if they become bothersome to the mother.
Pregnant? It’s Time To Amp Up Your Oral Health Routine
At Pure Smiles Dentistry, we have devoted our practice to providing comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages, including our expecting mothers. Dr. Sanil Patel and the team understand that pregnancy is an important time to amp up your oral health routine, and we are here to help. To schedule your appointment, call Pure Smiles Dentistry today.