Skip to main content

Caring for Your Teeth and Gums During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman smiling and pointing at healthy teeth.

 

Pregnancy is filled with joy, anticipation, and a fair share of surprises along the way. Among those surprises, many expectant mothers discover that their oral health requires extra attention and care.

During this busy time, it is easy to overlook oral health but keeping up with the health of your teeth and gums is an important part of prenatal care.

The Importance of Oral Health During Pregnancy

Why does dental health become even more important during pregnancy? Fluctuations in hormone levels, as well as other factors common during pregancy, can lead to an increased risk of some dental issues, such as gum disease and tooth decay. These probems not only affect your oral health but can also have implications for your baby's health.

Research suggests a link between gum disease in pregnant women and preterm births or low birth weight babies. So, taking care of your mouth does more than just protect your teeth; it may play a part in helping you have a healthy pregnancy.

Are Dental Visits Safe While Pregnant?

Absolutely! Routine dental visits are not only safe but recommended during pregnancy.

X-Rays

Inform your dentist that you are pregnant so we can adapt their care plan accordingly. Dental X-rays can be postponed, but if necessary, modern dental X-ray techniques are safe with proper shielding.

Flouride

Fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel and helps prevent decay. Fluoride treatments from your dentist and the use of fluoride products are considered safe during pregnancy.

Anesthetics

Common dental pain relief options such as laughing gas and local anesthetics are safe for you and your baby. Studies have shown that the use of these anesthetics does not impact your baby's development.

How Does Pregnancy Impact Oral Health?

Pregnancy can impact your teeth and gums in some surprising ways. Some include the following oral health issues.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums, or pregnancy gingivitis, is a common complaint due to hormonal changes increasing gum sensitivity to plaque. Regular dental check-ups and consistant oral hygiene can help manage this condition. Also, keep in mind that it is often temporary, and with good oral care habits, it is likely to resolve after giving birth.

Cavities

Pregnancy can also increase the risk of worn enamel and tooth decay. Morning sickness exposes your teeth to acid, and changing eating habits may lead to more sugary snacks, creating an environment where cavities thrive. Maintaining a thorough and consistent oral hygiene routine is key to prevention.

Pregnancy Tumors

Don't worry; pregnancy tumors are not as scary as they sound. Along the same lines as gingivitis, these little bumps or growths can appear on gums during pregnancy and typically resolve on their own soon after.

Top Tips for Oral Health During Pregnancy

Maximizing your oral health during pregnancy doesn't have to be complicated. Here are some practical and easy tips to stay healthy.

Remember the Basics

The foundation of oral health at any time is brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice each day and flossing daily. These simple habits remove plaque and reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

Battle Morning Sickness

If morning sickness is making it hard to brush your teeth due to a gag reflex, switch to a bland-tasting toothpaste. Rinse with water or a fluoride mouthwash if you've vomited to neutralize acid and protect your teeth.

Snack Wisely

Cravings are a staple of pregnancy but try to limit sugary snacks that can lead to tooth decay. Opt for nutritious snacks like cheese, fruits, and vegetables that are healthy for you and your teeth.

Stay Hydrated

Dry mouth can increase your risk for many dental issues. Drinking plenty of water can help keep your mouth moist and wash away food particles. Try to keep away from sugary drinks, and if you indulge, rinse with water when you are done.

Keep Up With Dental Appointments

Don't skip your dental check-ups during pregnancy. These visits are the perfect time to address any concerns and receive a professional cleaning that can help manage gum disease.

Caring for your teeth and gums doesn't stop during pregnancy. But, with some basic habits and attention, you can keep your mouth healthy through all nine months and beyond. Don't hesitate to reach out to our office for personalized advice and to book your next appointment. You've got this Mama!

 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Woman smiling with healthy teeth.

How Celiac Affects Your Teeth

While most people think about Celiac in connection with a gluten-free diet as Celiacs primary impact on the digestive system, this condition can also have far-reaching consequences for oral health.
Different Kinds of Cavities

Are There Different Kinds of Cavities

As with most medical conditions, there are several types of cavities, which can also vary in severity. Let’s learn all about these different kinds of cavities and what you can do to treat and prevent tooth decay.