How To Take Care of Your Oral Health During Pregnancy
If you’re expecting and have heard all the things that could go wrong during pregnancy, then you surely have heard how your oral health is at risk if you don’t take the correct measures.
Some pregnant women experience bleeding, swelling, and painful gums. One of the main causes of bleeding gums is plaque accumulation on teeth. Pregnancy-related hormonal changes can increase your gums’ susceptibility to plaque, which can cause bleeding and inflammation. Gum disease or pregnancy gingivitis are other names for this.
What is Dental Health?
Dental health is the health of your mouth, teeth and gums. It’s an important part of your overall health as it’s all linked together. When something goes wrong somewhere, it can be like dominoes, one after the other. If you’re pregnant, it’s crucial to put any issues to bed as soon as possible. This is an important part of prenatal care.
Being pregnant can trigger oral issues that you may have never had before. For instance, some research indicates a connection between early birth and gum disease. A premature birth occurs when a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Compared to babies born full-term, preterm babies may experience more health issues both during and after birth.
Taking the correct measures for optimal oral health will be one step closer to having a happy and healthy baby.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Oral Health?
Your body is going through a vast amount of change, and your mouth is no exception. it can affect both your teeth and gums. Such as:
- Due to increased and fluctuating levels of hormones like progesterone and oestrogen, this can increase the risk of oral health problems.
- Eating habits and cravings change with each trimester; you might eat a lot more salty food and sugar or focus on a particular food while pregnant and as the saying goes, too much of anything is bad for you and therefore could lead to oral health complications. some develop a condition called pica, meaning eating things that damage your oral health, like chewing ice.
- Gums become tender or so you might begin to floss less or even brush less than you would normally do. This might also be because brushing and flossing can be a nauseous experience for pregnant women.
What Could Happen to Your Oral Health?
These changes to our bodies, eating habits and health can increase your risk or trigger things that may have never been an issue before pregnancy. If any of these symptoms arise during your pregnancy, be sure to check in with your cosmetic dentist in Leeds for treatment or professional advice.
Cavities and Decay
These are tiny, broken patches on the outside of your teeth. Dental cavities are more common in pregnant women. Both during pregnancy and after delivery, you can give your unborn child the bacteria that causes cavities. This may cause issues for your child in the future.
Mercury-free Dental Fillings
It’s important to have cavities treated and filled when you have them. It’s also important to book your local dentist as soon as you’ve found out the good news: if you have had mercury-containing fillings in the past, these will have to be taken out and replaced with baby-friendly fillings.
If your body contains a lot of mercury, it can be transferred to your unborn child through the placenta or breast milk. According to studies, pregnant women who have had mercury fillings may be more likely than those who haven’t to experience miscarriage, preeclampsia, or low birthweight babies. In addition, mercury can harm other organs, such as the kidneys and brain.
Gum inflammation (redness and swelling) is known as gingivitis. It can develop into a more severe gum disease if left untreated. Hormones associated with pregnancy may raise your risk of gingivitis. Gingivitis affects 60%–75% of expectant mothers. Among the symptoms and indicators are:
- Swelling and redness
- Sensitivity in the gum
- Bleeding of the gums, despite light tooth brushing or with soft toothbrushes
- Glossy gums
If you are ever unsure if you have gingivitis while pregnant, it is always better to check with your healthcare provider to rule it out.
Loose and Soft Teeth
All these hormones can cause your gums to temporarily loosen and soften the tissues and bones that keep your teeth locked in place. You will have to be careful with what you eat; for example, stay away from biting into apples and instead cut them up.
If you have been unlucky with frequent morning sickness, then you are exposing your teeth to acids a lot more than they are used to. This can wear on the enamel and in their fragile state, they are more likely to be damaged and eroded during this time.
Try to wash your mouth out with water or mouthwash after being sick every time; this will prevent the acid from sitting on your teeth.
Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)
If gingivitis goes untreated, it can develop into periodontal disease, which can cause serious infections in the gums and problems with the bones. This can unfortunately call for your teeth to be removed.
Pyogenic Granuloma (Pregnancy Tumours)
It is important to note that they are not cancerous tumours. These lumps develop on the gums, usually in the spaces between teeth. Pregnancy tumours bleed readily and have a red, raw appearance.
Excessive amounts of plaque, a bacterial film that forms on teeth, maybe the cause of them. After giving birth, these tumours typically go away on their own. Your healthcare provider may need to remove them in rare circumstances.
How Do You Prevent Oral Health Problems When Pregnant?
See your local dentist regularly, both before and during pregnancy. Inform your dentist during your exams about these things:
- If you are or intend to become pregnant regarding any medication you consume, this covers over-the-counter and prescription medications, herbal products, and supplements.
- Is your pregnancy high-risk? This refers to conditions that put you, your unborn child, or both of you at higher risk of complications. If you have a chronic illness, complications from a previous pregnancy, or other conditions that could affect your health or the health of your unborn child, your pregnancy may be high-risk.
- If your prenatal care physician has discussed your oral health with you, it’s crucial to have dental exams both before and during pregnancy so your dentist can identify and address any issues early on. Getting your teeth and gums cleaned on a regular basis promotes gum health and is an opportunity to catch any potential issues early so they are stopped in their tracks.