How Pregnancy Affects Oral Health
Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the near future? Did you know that pregnant women are more likely to experience tooth decay and gum disease? Even if you are not expecting at this time, it is possible that you have a loved one or friend who might be. While being pregnant is an exciting time, it can also be a time of exhaustion, illness, and food cravings. These symptoms can affect your dental health more than you realize. We wanted to share how your dental health can be affected during pregnancy and some helpful tips to keep your teeth in tip-top shape. Even if you aren’t expecting, this would be great to forward to a friend or loved one who is or soon will be. Their dental health is important too! Keep reading to learn more.
Pregnancy and Your Dental Health
There is nothing more exciting than making the decision to expand your family. It is so easy to get wrapped up in doctor’s appointments, designing a nursery, and completing a baby registry that other things, such as your oral health, can be forgotten. It is not uncommon for the health of your teeth and gums to decline during pregnancy. Unfortunately, there are a number of things working against you that you should be aware of:
During pregnancy, there are many hormonal changes that happen in the body, and they can negatively affect the gums. The increased blood flow makes the gums more sensitive to bacteria and disease. Over 60% of pregnant women experience the beginning stages of gum disease, otherwise known as gingivitis. Don’t be alarmed if your gums appear red and swollen.
Unfortunately, there are a number of women who experience morning or all day sickness during pregnancy. Stomach acid can wear away the tooth enamel, causing serious decay, and can even give teeth a worn appearance.
It is not uncommon for women to experience food cravings during pregnancy. Oftentimes they consist of sweet foods or snacking between meals. This can lead to increased bacteria in the mouth, which leads to tooth decay.
Tips to Help Your Oral Health
While there is nothing you can do during pregnancy to change your hormones, there are actions you can take to make sure your mouth is as healthy as possible:
- Visit our office at the beginning of your pregnancy or when planning to become pregnant
- Be sure to brush and floss often if you eat between meals
- Floss daily to help with gum disease
- Increase your calcium intake
If you are pregnant or thinking of adding to your family in the near future, now is the perfect time to schedule an appointment for a hygiene examination. We look forward to seeing you in our office located in Montgomery, AL soon.