Change. This word takes on a whole new meaning for women who become pregnant and are expecting a child. Throughout life, a woman’s body goes through many changes, but perhaps the biggest is the major transformation that takes place before, during, and after pregnancy. In addition to a growing belly, morning sickness, and fatigue that occurs when a woman becomes pregnant, many changes also occur in the mouth during pregnancy.
Oral health is extremely important, and keeping your mouth healthy by brushing and flossing, and eating right is just the start of it. Our mouths can be an indicator of our overall health. And when something is wrong in our mouths, it could be a red flag of something else that needs to be addressed elsewhere in our bodies. This is especially true for pregnant women as anything that affects you, will in turn, affect your baby.
Therefore, if you become pregnant or are planning to, it is important to consult with your dentist as soon as possible for a complete dental exam, answer any questions you may have. Your dentist can also provide guidance on what to expect during each stage of your pregnancy.
Due to the hormonal changes and increased demands pregnancy places on a woman’s body for nine months, women often encounter more dental issues during this time. Here are common issues mothers may encounter during pregnancy and what you should know to avoid them:
Gum disease: When a woman is pregnant, they can develop what is called pregnancy gingivitis. Due to hormonal changes, even if you brush and floss regularly, mothers can experience swelling and tender gums. Your body is supporting two people right now, so your blood flow is increasing and, as a result, your gums become swollen and tender to the touch. With this condition, you will most likely notice some blood whenever you brush your teeth. If you see any signs of gum problems, speak to your dentist. When it’s left untreated, pregnancy gingivitis can lead to more serious gum disease.
Tooth Decay: Being pregnant often goes hand-in-hand with morning sickness. If you are one of the unlucky ones who experience daily nausea and vomiting, the increased acid from throwing up can eat away at the enamel of your teeth. In addition, giving in to sugar or carb cravings during pregnancy can also leave your teeth more susceptible to decay, resulting in cavities. Under these circumstances, it’s important to brush really well twice a day, as well as floss.
Tooth Sensitivity: Hormonal changes within your body cause increased tooth sensitivity during pregnancy. Eating and drinking hot and cold things may bring about the most problems.
Your oral health is important no matter what stage of life you may find yourself in. Pregnant women have an increased risk for these types of oral health issues, but no one is completely safe without regular dental cleanings and proper home care when it comes to oral hygiene.
If you are concerned about your teeth, especially if you are pregnant, call Dr. Ernie Soto at (954) 368-6264 to request an appointment or request an appointment online.