Taking care of your health is of the utmost importance throughout each stage of your pregnancy. Like your medical health, your oral health is no exception. During pregnancy, significant hormonal changes can make your gums more susceptible to inflammation and your teeth more vulnerable to plaque buildup. What’s more, your teeth can be more prone to erosion, and you can dehydrate quicker than before pregnancy. To keep your teeth, gums, and the rest of your mouth in good condition while your body undergoes constant change, follow these simple tips from our dentists in Orlando with Thornton Park Dental Arts.
During pregnancy, expecting mothers typically notice a number of different changes in their oral health. Specifically, they may find their gums bleed when they brush their teeth or floss and appear much redder than usual. Dentists sometimes refer to this as “pregnancy gingivitis,” which may occur as early as the second month of pregnancy. This oral condition typically escalates in severity, peaking during the eighth month of pregnancy, but often goes away once the baby has been delivered. But it’s important to note gum health is especially important during pregnancy, as gum disease may have negative effects, such as premature birth. The best way to combat and prevent gum disease during pregnancy is to maintain a thorough dental hygiene routine. Pregnant women should brush their teeth after every meal to prevent food residue from building up and wreaking havoc on their gums. Additionally, they should floss their teeth regularly and use a dentist-recommended mouthwash to kill any remaining harmful bacteria.
Many pregnant women experience some degree of nausea, or morning sickness, during their pregnancy. Oftentimes, this nausea is followed by vomiting. If you experience morning sickness during pregnancy, it’s important to avoid brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting. If you brush your teeth right after your vomit, the acids in your mouth from vomiting can cause tooth enamel erosion. Instead, if you experience frequent vomiting during your pregnancy, try rinsing your mouth with a mixture of baking soda and water, or just water, directly after vomiting. This will help reduce the acidity level in your mouth before you brush your teeth.
Another common oral health issue among expecting mothers is dry mouth, which is common for pregnant women and can lead to a number of other oral health issues, such as bad breath and tooth decay. To effectively combat the different issues associated with dry mouth and for their health in general, pregnant women need to drink plenty of water during their pregnancy. Another way to help facilitate adequate saliva production is to chew sugarless gum. If the gum contains the ingredient xylitol, it can help reduce harmful bacteria, such as from leftover food and plaque buildup, that can result in tooth decay and cavities.
It’s always important to visit your dentist for a regular dental check-up and cleanings, but when pregnant, it is more important than ever to visit your Orlando dentist for routine check-ups. During your exam, your dentist will review the health of your gums and teeth and offer advice on improving and maintaining your oral health throughout your pregnancy. Our dentists will also provide you with a professional cleaning, which can help treat and prevent gum disease and other oral health problems. It’s important that you inform your dentist of your pregnancy before your appointment to help the dentist ensure the treatment methods used will be appropriate for yourself and your baby. For more information about oral health during pregnancy and beyond, please contact Thornton Park Dental Arts.