Dental health plays an important part in your overall wellness, and hormonal changes during pregnancy can have an impact on your teeth and gums.
Here’s what you can expect
Can morning sickness affect my oral health?
For many women, morning sickness is a big part of pregnancy, and can have some unfortunate effects on day-to-day activities. Unfortunately, the condition can even have an impact on your oral health — in some cases, acid from your stomach can contribute to tooth erosion, while gastric acid from acid reflux can also have a similar effect. The best bet is to keep your mouth clean — protect your enamel by rinsing with a mouthwash if you have been sick, and stick to a healthy brushing routine.
What is pregnancy gingivitis?
Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition that is often caused by pregnancy hormones. Some common symptoms of the condition include swollen gums and bleeding during brushing and flossing. The condition is a mild form of gum disease and can occur when the gums become more sensitive to bacteria as a result of some of the hormonal changes you are going through.
The good news, however, is that pregnancy gingivitis is not likely to harm you or your baby in any way if you practise healthy dental habits. Severe gum disease may cause issues, such as preterm labor, low birth weight and other complications, but pregnancy gingivitis is unlikely to lead to these kinds of issues.
What are pregnancy tumors?
Although relatively rare, pregnancy tumors can develop on the gums. The lumps are actually generally harmless and don’t usually cause any pain. They might bleed when you brush your teeth but will typically disappear after you have given birth to your baby. If you find the lump to be particularly uncomfortable during your pregnancy, it is possible to have it removed. Let us know if a pregnancy tumor is affecting your ability to chew or brush, or if it is bleeding excessively.
How can I keep my oral health on track during pregnancy?
The best way to take care of your teeth and gums throughout your pregnancy is to practise good oral hygiene. Be sure to brush your teeth gently at least twice a day with a soft brush. Opt for a toothpaste with fluoride. Remember to floss every day, and use an anti-bacterial mouthwash.
It’s also a good idea to see your dentist for a check-up and clean. Let us know how far along you are, and we will take this into account when it comes to any treatments you might need. Your dental health can affect your overall health and the health of your baby, so it’s essential that you address any issues as early as possible.
One of the most effective preventative services that we offer is known as the Carifree system. It allows us to test for and treat a bacterial infection before it causes tooth decay. If you’re planning a pregnancy, come in for a check-up so that we can determine your level of decay-causing bacteria and, if necessary, prescribe a treatment program to stabilize the infection and reduce the risks associated with oral inflammation. For more information on the CariFree test, have a look here.
Do you need a check-up?
Even if you’re not pregnant, it’s a good idea to come in for regular check-ups, at which time you’ll have a complete oral assessment to check for any issues. Our experienced team is available to advise you of the best practice in good oral hygiene and to give you valuable information to help you maintain a healthy smile. Try and come in early in your pregnancy, or if you’re not yet pregnant, let us know that you are planning on having a baby so that we can do our best to treat you accordingly.
For more information on what to expect at a visit to our practice, read more here.
Need more information on how to maintain your oral health during or before a pregnancy? Make an appointment today!