Things You Should Know About Your Teeth and Gums if You’re Pregnant
So you’ve found you are pregnant! It’s joyous news and suddenly you begin to think more about your health: things like folic acid, calcium, iron, eating well and resting, too. It’s all for the health and well being of your growing baby but there is one other area of your personal health that you need to consider though and that’s your oral health!
Visit your Dentist!
If you haven’t been in the last 9-12 months, visit your dentist as soon as you find out you’re expecting and be sure to tell them that you are pregnant. Routine dental procedures are safe during pregnancy. Your dentist can give you a cleaning and discuss with you the changes that you might see in your oral health during your pregnancy.
Common Oral Health Issues During Pregnancy
The most common issue during pregnancy is what is termed ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ – this isn’t different from normal gingivitis – where gums become inflamed, red and can bleed a little – except that it increases in likelihood during pregnancy, beginning in the second month, because of the extra hormones your body is producing.
“Inflamed gums result from changes in mouth bacteria that feed on the extra hormones secreted during pregnancy, and in the overall increase in fluid levels in the body as the pregnancy progresses,” says Dr. Arthur Worth, ODA President (source)
In fact, early gum disease has been linked to prematurity and low birth weight in babies, so maintaining good oral health throughout your pregnancy is vital. The theory is that inflammation of the gums, which is in effect a low-grade infection, sets off your body’s immune response. This can hinder the baby’s growth and ultimately cause your body to go into early labour, as your immune system could see the baby as causing the infection.
Another issue that is common during pregnancy is morning sickness, which can contribute to tooth decay and enamel erosion. Your best defense is to rid your mouth of the stomach acids that come with vomiting. If you can’t brush, swish your mouth out with water.
Should you Skip Procedures During Pregnancy?
Routine cleanings and dental emergencies should definitely not be ignored but it’s probably a good idea to leave the elective dental procedures until after your baby is born – things like teeth whitening, for example. Otherwise, cleanings, x-rays, freezing and fillings are all safe to proceed with, even while pregnant.
Are you pregnant or know someone that is? Share this article! Your oral health matters to your baby and to you!
If you are looking for a Scarborough dentist or dental office in Milton, we’d love you to check us out! Contact our Scarborough dental office at (416) 291 – 0306 or our Milton dental clinic at (905) 636 – 9770 – we provide a full range of dental services for the whole family including regular checkups, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants and much more!