It is no secret that your body will go through significant changes during pregnancy. Many of these changes are common knowledge—things you expect to happen when you know you are pregnant—while others tend to fly under the radar.
Your dental health may not be on your mind during pregnancy. After all, you have more pressing matters to think about. However, now is no time to let your oral health and hygiene fall to the wayside. Instead, you should be aware of dental concerns and how they are influenced by pregnancy.
By familiarizing yourself with how to care for your teeth during pregnancy, potential dental concerns that may arise, and how you should address both, you will set yourself up for a healthy, happy mouth during and after your pregnancy.
Keep Your Dentist Informed
When you become pregnant, be sure to let your dentist know. You should also remind them of your pregnancy, as well as how far along you are, when making an appointment. In addition to your pregnancy status, keep your dentist in the loop on any medications you are taking, the status of your medical condition (especially if you have any risk factors), and other pertinent information.
Keeping your dentist informed will ensure that they are able to treat you accordingly, thereby keeping you and your baby healthy and safe. It will also give them the opportunity to keep an eye on any pregnancy-related dental concerns that may arise.
Pregnancy and Your Teeth
There is no guarantee that pregnancy will impact your dental health. In fact, many women experience no adverse dental effects during their pregnancy.
However, there are two conditions related to pregnancy that may occur. Your dentist will undoubtedly check for these conditions during your regular appointments, but there’s no harm in staying alert on your own time.
Pregnancy gingivitis is typically caused by the hormone changes pregnancy so infamously brings. This condition causes gums to become inflamed, leading to swelling and tenderness. While gingivitis itself is not terribly concerning, it can progress into a more serious gum disease if left untreated. As such, your dentist may want you to visit for professional cleanings more frequently during your pregnancy.
Some pregnant women may experience what is called “pregnancy tumors.” While this condition sounds scary, it is nothing to be concerned about. These growths of tissue are simply swelling that will most likely dissipate after birth. They are unsightly and can bleed easily but are not something to be frightened by. If they interfere with healthy oral hygiene, eating, or you just want them gone, feel free to discuss removing them with your dentist.
Caring for Your Teeth During Pregnancy
With potential dental concerns occurring during pregnancy, including gingivitis, pregnancy tumors, and even the acidic assault of morning sickness on your enamel, it is vital to properly care for your teeth throughout your pregnancy.
Thankfully, this involves normal oral hygiene habits such as consistent brushing, flossing, and dental visits. You may also want to swish mouthwash or a mixture of baking soda and water following any morning sickness.
The best thing you can do to ensure your dental health is at its strongest during and after pregnancy is to communicate consistently and openly with your dentist. Voice your concerns, keep them up to date on any dental developments and take their advice to heart. Together, you can keep your smile bright and healthy for the next nine months and beyond.