Throughout a pregnancy, your body goes through a number of changes internally and externally. While pregnancy does not directly cause you to develop oral health issues, the changes in hormones and chemical shifts in your body can alter your body’s natural reaction to plaque and bacteria. Keep in mind, this is not the case with every woman, and all pregnancies are different. Be sure to talk to your dentist if you are pregnant to discuss the best course of oral health care.
Morning sickness is a very common occurrence for most women during the first stages of pregnancy. It can often begin around the fourth week and last till around the sixth week, though this can vary. While this does not directly affect your oral health, it can bring an influx of acid, which can erode the enamel on your teeth. If you have morning sickness, it is important to stay on top of your oral hygiene, meaning brush and floss at least twice a day and rinse your mouth after eating whenever possible.
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This oral condition is commonly developed by pregnant women, thus the term pregnancy gingivitis. This reversible ailment causes inflammation of the gums, which may lead to them swelling or bleeding easily when chewing or brushing. It is important to note any changes to your teeth or gums throughout your pregnancy and mention them to your primary health care provider or your dentist. If left untreated, gingivitis of all kinds can lead to more serious dental health problems, such as tooth decay or periodontitis.
A pregnancy “tumor” is an overgrowth of tissue that appears on the gums, usually around the second trimester. It is not cancerous, but rather gets its name due to the tumorous appearance of the swelling that typically occurs between teeth. In some case, they are related to the accumulation of excess plaque in the mouth. They are easy to identify because they bleed easily and have a raw, red, raspberry-like appearance. Most women find that they disappear on their own following the birth of their child, but don’t be afraid to discuss their appearance with your doctor or dentist.
Keeping up with a healthy oral hygiene routine is an essential part of everyday life, for both pregnant women and all others! Prior to becoming pregnant, be sure to stay on top of regular teeth cleanings to help prevent the likelihood of developing any of the above mentioned oral hygiene issues.
Dr. Lloyd Beaufils will help address any pregnancy related oral health care issues and communicate with your primary health care physician to ensure you and your baby get the dedicated care and attention you need.