Pregnancy can affect many areas of your health, including your oral health and wellness. If you are expecting, Dr. Gordon Bell and the team at The Center for Dental Excellence encourage you to learn more about the changes that can occur in your mouth. We also want to familiarize you with some of the steps you can take to reduce your risk of dental health problems during this exciting time in your life.
Hormonal Changes Increase Risk of Gum Disease
The hormonal fluctuations that occur during pregnancy can cause changes in your gums. Notably, increased levels of progesterone can enhance the growth of certain bacteria that lead to gum disease (i.e., gingivitis). You may find that your gums look red, bleed or feel swollen or tender during your pregnancy.
Morning Sickness Can Raise Risk of Oral Health Problems
Are you suffering from morning sickness and an upset stomach? Vomit contains strong acids that can erode tooth enamel, raising the risk of tooth decay and sensitivity. After vomiting, we recommend you rinse your mouth with water or a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the stomach acids and protect your teeth.
Sensitive Gag Reflex May Make It Hard to Brush or Floss
A sensitive gag reflex during pregnancy may make it very difficult for you to brush or floss. To make it more comfortable, you can try the following:
- Switch to a different flavor of toothpaste
- Use a toothbrush with a smaller head
- Brush at a different time of day
Oral Health Habits during Pregnancy
We encourage you to stay vigilant about brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing or using an interdental cleaner at least once a day. We also recommend you continue to attend regularly scheduled professional cleanings and check-ups, as these appointments pose no threat to you or your growing baby, and can help reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease. In general, it is best to postpone major non-emergency procedures or cosmetic treatments until after your baby is born.
Finally, we encourage you to follow a healthy, balanced diet throughout your pregnancy. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains to give your body and your baby the nutrients you need.
Let Us Help You Maintain a Healthy Mouth During Pregnancy
At The Center for Dental Excellence, we want to help you enjoy oral health and wellness while you are pregnant. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions about dental hygiene or dental treatments, or if you would like to schedule a cleaning. You can call (888) 906-2343 or send us an email.