Good oral health is essential for women of all ages, especially during pregnancy. Many women experience various dental problems during pregnancy. Some dental issues are minor, while others may require immediate treatment.
Pregnancy gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that occurs during pregnancy, usually during the second or third trimester. It occurs in about two-thirds of women and is caused by hormonal changes. The hormone progesterone causes an increase in blood flow to the gums, which can cause the gums to become swollen and red. Hormonal changes also cause a decrease in the body’s ability to fight off infection, which can increase the risk of periodontal diseases.
The good news is that most pregnancy gingivitis is mild and can be treated by a dentist with oral hygiene tips such as brushing and flossing regularly. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious forms of gum disease and even tooth loss. Pregnant women should talk to their dentist about their oral health during every checkup. If the condition doesn’t improve, the dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouth rinse to help control symptoms and prevent the progression of the disease.
Gum disease can lead to premature birth or low birth weight for your baby. Tooth decay can also increase the risk of early labor. While maintaining good oral health can be difficult while you’re expecting a baby, it’s an important task that should not be ignored.
Brush your teeth at least twice each day with fluoridated toothpaste. Floss at least once per day to remove the plaque from between the teeth. Avoid sugar and acid foods, as well as acidic beverages like soda. These can erode the enamel on the teeth and lead to tooth decay.
Pregnant women should still visit their dentist for regular cleanings and exams, and for some pregnant women, X-rays will be recommended as well. X-rays can reveal the shapes of developing teeth under the gums, reveal possible problems with wisdom teeth, and help dentists monitor bone levels in the jaw.
Even if a pregnant woman doesn’t have any of these issues, they should still visit the dentist during their pregnancy. The hormones that are surging through their bodies can cause a condition called “pregnancy gingivitis” to flare up. This condition causes red, swollen gums that bleed easily. Some women also have sensitive teeth during pregnancy; these patients should avoid any tooth whitening procedures during pregnancy. Instead, they can ask their dentist about treatments like bonding and white fillings.
To schedule an appointment at our office, contact us from your nearest office at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!