A lot of changes happen in your body when you are pregnant, but did you know that pregnancy affects your oral health as well? Changing hormone levels during pregnancy can put expecting mothers at greater risk of developing a variety of oral health issues.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect gums causing them to be more sensitive, swollen and red. This is called pregnancy gingivitis or gum disease.
Around 70% of women have some form of gum disease while they are pregnant, and studies have linked pregnancy gingivitis to premature delivery and lower birth weights. Gingivitis can also lead to more serious periodontal (gum and bone) disease without good oral care.
Morning sickness is a common issue that can also cause problems for your teeth. Stomach acid from frequent vomiting can eat away at the hard protective enamel. The best way to help minimize this effect is to swish with baking soda and water after getting sick. This will help neutralize any acid left in your mouth before you brush.
One of the rarer things that can happen with your gums is pyrogenic granuloma or “pregnancy tumors”. The name might sound scary, but these swellings (which often resemble raspberries between the teeth) are not malignant. They usually vanish after the baby is born but if you have any concerns regarding them it is best to speak to someone at our office.
One of the best ways to protect your teeth and gums is to continue your regular visits to the dentist. The ideal time to get a cleaning while pregnant is during your second trimester. Routine cleanings and checkups are crucial to combating some of these common issues. Give us a call if you have any questions or to book in to speak with one of our dentists.