Pregnancy is the perfect time to visit your dentist as well as your obstetrician. Due to increased estrogen and progesterone, your oral health can suffer by the way your gum tissue reacts to plaque. Your teeth and gums will benefit from a thorough dental cleaning and checkup!
Pregnancy Gingivitis: this occurs because of how your gums react to increased hormonal changes. When you brush, your gums may swell and bleed. This can happen from the second month of pregnancy until about the eighth month, and usually goes away once you give birth. If you have bleeding, swollen gums, or gingivitis, now is the time to step up your oral hygiene routine, and our skilled dentists will remove hardened tartar. Gingivitis is not to be taken likely as it has been linked to pre-term delivery and low birth weight babies. This happens when bacteria from the infected gums travels through the bloodstream to the uterus and triggers prostaglandins, which can induce labor.
Pregnancy Tumors: About 2%-10% of women develop pregnancy tumors. These non-cancerous growths erupt between teeth or swollen gums which become irritated. These tumors arise from excess plaque build-up and will shrink once you give birth. Fortunately, these tumors are uncomfortable but not dangerous. They may bleed easily, can form an ulcer or crust over. They are typically caused by poor oral hygiene, hormones, viruses, or trauma.
What You Can Do
–Along with a thorough dental cleaning by your dentist, you can help by paying meticulous attention to your oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy and brush and floss at least twice a day.
–If you have morning sickness (and vomiting) don’t brush your teeth right away as acids in your mouth will erode tooth enamel. Before brushing, it may help to rinse well with water to wash away or even rinsing with baking soda and water to lower the pH in the mouth.
–Avoid excess sugar and starch consumption by eating healthy and use antibacterial mouthwash to help reduce plaque.
–Drink lots of water to stimulate saliva production and avoid dry mouth, to cut down on plaque buildup.
Now is the perfect time to take good care of your body and your oral health! At our dental office we look forward to helping you along your journey. Please give us a call at 225-753-5885 if you have concerns or want to schedule an appointment!