How Pregnancy Affects Your Dental Health
- January 22, 2018
If you’re expecting, you’ve likely been reading up on what to expect as you await the arrival of your little one. Over the course of nine months, nearly every part of your body will undergo some unexpected changes — from blurred vision to loosening joints — and your mouth is no exception. So, how does pregnancy affect your dental health?
Read on to learn more about what you can expect in the time leading up to your due date. Then, partner with the compassionate team at Gentle Dental Care to keep your smile healthy in the months and years to come!
Similar to the way in which you’re spending more time in the doctor’s office during your pregnancy, you’ll want to commit to more frequent visits to the dentist as well. This will help ensure that your oral health is in great shape and help keep pregnancy gingivitis (yes, that’s a thing) at bay. Experience our ‘gentle’ approach to comprehensive dentistry! Call our Plainville, CT office at (860) 479-2397.
1. Pregnancy Increases Your Susceptibility To Gum Disease.
Hormonal changes, such as those you undergo while you’re pregnant, make your gums more sensitive to irritants and more susceptible to infection. That’s why nearly 40 percent of women will experience the phenomenon known as “pregnancy gingivitis” while pregnant.
There are two types of gum disease: the more mild gingivitis and the comparatively aggressive periodontitis. Luckily, the gum disease that accompanies pregnancy is generally mild. But beware: Left untreated, your pregnancy gingivitis can worsen.
So, it’s important to detect and treat gingivitis early. And at Gentle Dental Care, we make it easy. Coming in for routine dental exams and professional cleanings will increase the likelihood that the earliest signs of gum disease — like swollen, red, or bleeding gums — are detected and promptly taken care of.
When our regular cleanings aren’t enough to eradicate the infection, we offer non-surgical gum disease treatment. To ensure your comfort, we’ll thoroughly numb your gums before performing a deep cleaning of the area around and under your gum line. Then, we’ll smooth the roots of your teeth to discourage future bacterial buildup.
Something you can do at home to prevent pregnancy gingivitis? Commit to flossing once a day. Keeping the gum line free of food particles will help keep bacterial buildup to a minimum.
2. It Increases Your Risk Of Cavities, Too.
Morning sickness, in addition to being unpleasant in its own right, can compromise the strength of your tooth enamel. Your enamel is the hard protective layer of your teeth. Its primary role is to protect your smile, shielding your teeth from the irritants that cause tooth decay and cavities.
When your teeth are repeatedly exposed to acidic substances, it erodes the enamel. And while protecting your smile might be the last thing on your mind during an episode of morning sickness, there are some easy things you can do to protect your teeth.
After you experience morning sickness, rinse out your mouth with a mixture of 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon baking soda and spit it out to remove those acids from your teeth. Wait about half an hour, and then brush your teeth as usual.
And if you’re not currently doing so, start brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste. It’s safe for you and your baby, and it strengthens your enamel.
3. You Might Gag When You Brush Your Teeth.
It’s a pretty well-known fact that pregnancy often increases your sensitivity to smells and tastes. But few women expect that toothpaste might suddenly repulse you. If you can’t get through your normal brushing routine without gagging, there are a couple things that might help.
First, switch up your toothpaste. You might loathe minty flavors during the course of your pregnancy but find that cinnamon-flavored toothpaste works just fine. You can also choose a toothbrush with a smaller brush head. It’s less likely to trigger your gag reflexes.
Dental Care ‘Gentle’ Enough For You And Your Baby
Prioritizing your health during your pregnancy will help prevent complications for you and your baby. And it all starts with your mouth! Your oral health reflects and influences your overall wellbeing.
At Gentle Dental Care, our compassionate team knows that you’ll be busy preparing for the arrival of your little one over the next nine months, and your dental health shouldn’t get in the way. Partner with us to experience comfortable, stress-free dental care. You’ll love the care you receive every step of the way!