Pregnancy’s Impact On Oral Health
AN EXPECTANT MOTHER goes through many changes during pregnancy beyond the baby bump and some funny cravings. Unfortunately, some of the changes to oral health are not especially pleasant.
Pregnancy Gingivitis And Hormones
No matter how exciting and hectic pregnancy can be, never let it get in the way of daily brushing and flossing; Gums are especially vulnerable to gingivitis during pregnancy. As many as two in five pregnant women have gum disease, with tender and swollen gums. Studies have even linked pregnancy gingivitis with premature delivery and lower birth weights. So, fight back with daily flossing and a soft-bristled toothbrush!
Morning Sickness And Enamel Erosion
One of the more common (and certainly more well-known) pregnancy symptoms is morning sickness. It’s an unpleasant enough symptom to deal with on its own, but it can have compounding effects on our teeth when we aren’t careful. Despite tooth enamel being the hardest substance in the human body, it is highly vulnerable to acid erosion. Frequent vomiting due to morning sickness will put the enamel in contact with a lot of strong acids.
An excellent way to minimize stomach acid effects is to swish with baking soda and water after a bout of morning sickness. Make sure not to brush until after you’ve done this, or you risk additional erosion!
Pyogenic Granuloma During Pregnancy
This one is bizarre: some pregnant women develop raspberry-like gum tissue growths between their teeth. They’re called pyogenic granulomas or “pregnancy tumours.” They generally appear in the second trimester and vanish on their own after delivery. Pyogenic granulomas are benign. However, if they’re causing too much discomfort, the growths can be removed by a dentist or specialist.
Nutrition And Dental Health (Of Mom And Baby)
Dental health professionals tend to recommend cutting back on sugary treats no matter what the circumstances are, since sugar is harmful oral bacteria’s favourite food, and pregnancy is no exception. Consuming less sugar will go a long way towards protecting your teeth and gums. Focusing on essential nutrients (particularly vitamins A, C, and D, along with lots of calcium, protein, and phosphorous) will help develop Baby’s teeth!
The Dentist Is A Great Resource
Keeping up with daily oral hygiene habits and eating healthy is critical during pregnancy, but another factor in maintaining good oral health is the dentist! Don’t forget to include regular dental appointments in your schedule, especially if you have any concerns about your teeth or gums. If it’s been a while since your last appointment, go ahead and schedule one!
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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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