How being pregnant will impact your oral health

How being pregnant will impact your oral health

Many things are happening and changing while you are pregnant, and the best way that you can look after your teeth is to ensure you are up to date with your checkups, and have let your dentist know. Have a read of this article to see what you should do and expect when you are pregnant.

It’s especially important to keep your gums healthy, as there is a proven link between pregnant women with periodontal disease have children premature with low birth rate. According to the research, this could be responsible for almost 20% of premature births.

What changes during pregnancy

Hormones
The change of hormones during pregnancy can sometimes cause what we call pregnancy gingivitis. This increases your risk of gum inflammation and soreness. The effects and severity are different for everyone, but to stay safe, always ensure to maintain a high level of oral hygiene.

Risk of Gingivitis
Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis which damages the jaw bone, and can potentially lead to wobbly teeth. If you think you could benefit from learning more, book in for a consult with one of our hygienists to ensure a happy and safe pregnancy.

Increased Sensitivity
Pregnant women may experience an increased sensitivity to hot and cold during pregnancy. Some pain is normal, but if you are experiencing anything you are worried about, such as lingering or spontaneous pain, please contact your dentist.

Risk of Decay
There is an increased risk of dental decay during your pregnancy. One reason is because of sugar cravings. Sugar consumption can lead to tooth decay, so ensure that even during cravings you are drinking water, brushing and flossing. Another reason is morning sickness.

Morning Sickness
Morning sickness can weaken the enamel on the back surface of your front teeth, making your teeth more prone to decay. If this occurs, ensure to rinse your mouth with water and do not brush your teeth for a minimum of 30 mins (as your teeth are susceptible to further damage in this time period).

What should you do once you find out you’re pregnant?

As soon as you discover you are pregnant, book in for a consult! This is to ensure you have good brushing and flossing habits, as well as do a full check up of your teeth and gums.

There are some procedures which may be best avoided during pregnancy (especially during or after the second trimester) but are ok to do straight away if necessary. It may be best to avoid dental treatment late in the pregnancy or if you’re suffering from morning sickness.

It is especially important to avoid beginning any elective treatment such as braces during pregnancy and avoid things such as unnecessary x-rays and anaesthetic. In addition, ensure you have regular 6 monthly checks and cleans, and maintain a high standard of brushing and flossing at home.

Don’t forget to always tell your dentist that you are pregnant before the appointment, and especially if they want to prescribe any medications.

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