Pregnancy can send your hormones into overdrive, which will affect your entire body, including your oral health. It is important when visiting the dentist during your pregnancy to advise your dentist, this way you can ensure that no major work is carried out which could potentially affect your unborn baby.
There are a number of oral health issues you may experience during your pregnancy, which are caused by the changes in your hormones. The first common problem expectant mothers experience is gingivitis, according to leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon, Dr Tariq Drabu.
Gingivitis is caused by the increase in hormones and is a milder form of gum disease. It cause inflammation of the gums and you may experience bleeding when brushing your teeth. In most instances this form of gum disease will clear up once the baby is born. The best treatment is to ensure the best oral health routine is followed at home with brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing.
Periodontal disease is a severe form of gum disease which is caused by a bacterial infection. When gingivitis isn’t treated and doesn’t clear, it can become periodontitis. The problem with this gum disease is that it can affect your baby and overall health. Babies born to mothers with periodontal disease can be premature or low weight. Your dentist will advise you the safest options to treat periodontal disease while pregnant.
Granuloma is a growth that appears on the upper line of the gums. It is uncomfortable and nodular in form, in some instances it can even cause a crust. The good news is that isn’t dangerous, but it is uncomfortable and can affect speech and eating. Most women experience granuloma during their second trimester, but it will clear up once the baby is born. If you are worried, you can visit your doctor or dentist who can provide further advice and recommendations to help you treat the condition accordingly.
Dry mouth is another serious problem which can happen during pregnancy. Dry mouth is a decrease in saliva, which is imperative to your overall oral health. Saliva is alkaline and therefore protects your teeth. There are a number of ways you can increase saliva production if you’re experiencing dry mouth. These include chewing sugar free chewing gum, drinking plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and eating crunchy fruits and vegetables, which encourage saliva production.
If you’re suffering from morning sickness, then it is possible you could be prone to tooth enamel erosion.
During your pregnancy it’s advisable to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. Ensure you include milk and cheese, both of which are brimming in calcium to help promote healthy bones and gums for you and your unborn baby. Eat yoghurt, which is filled with good bacteria which can fight off dangerous bacteria in your mouth and ensure you include fruits and vegetables to your diet to enjoy the vitamins, minerals and crunch that they provide.
You need to ensure you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Each brushing should be a minimum of two minutes each time. According to Dr Tariq Drabu, the most important time to brush is right before bed, eliminating plaque and bacteria while you sleep.
Take advantage of dental floss, which can get between teeth to areas that your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing can also prevent gum disease, which is one of the common problems when pregnant.
Don’t skip your routine dental appointment because you are pregnant, advised Dr Tariq Drabu. Keep your routine appointments which enable the dentist to identify any problems with your mouth, teeth and gums.