Good dental health is imperative; however when you are pregnant, it becomes even more important. Loosing teeth because the fetus absorbs too much calcium is a myth, but you may experience some changes to your oral heath during pregnancy. The main changes are as a result of an increase in hormone production such as progesterone and estrogen. A surge in these hormones can affect the way your gum tissue reacts to plaque. This article will focus on changes to your dental health during pregnancy and hints and tips on how to maintain your dental hygiene during this time.
Pregnancy Gingivitis & Tumors
Gingivitis is caused by an excessive build up of plaque. The condition causes the gums to bleed and become swollen, red and tender. The majority of pregnant women are affected by pregnancy gingivitis; it typically begins to emerge during the second month. If gingivitis is left untreated it can develop into periodontis which is a more serious form of gum disease.
Pregnant women are at risk of developing pregnancy tumors. These are non-cancerous inflammatory growths that develop as a result of swollen irritated gums. Typically the tumors will shrink and disappear after the baby has been born; however, if a tumor becomes too uncomfortable and interferes with chewing or general hygiene procedures your dentist may choose to surgically remove it.
In general, you can prevent gingivitis and tumors by maintaining good oral hygiene. However, when you are pregnant you will need to take extra precautions. Brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. If possible, you should brush after every meal. It is also advised that you floss meticulously each day. Pregnant women often report that brushing causes morning sickness, if this is the case for you rinse your mouth with anti-fluoride and anti-plaque mouthwashes or water. Maintain a good diet, and increase your consumption of vitamin B12 and vitamin C, both of which assist in keeping the oral cavity strong and healthy. You should also visit the dentist frequently for cleaning to prevent plaque buildup.
Typically, non-emergency procedures can be performed at any stage of your pregnancy. However, the best time to for dental treatment is between the fourth and the sixth months. If you have a dental emergency that causes severe pain, you can have treatment during any trimester but for an emergency that requires anesthesia, or when you are prescribed medication your obstetrician should be consulted.