Being pregnant comes with many responsibilities. Caring for your oral health along with your overall
health is no exception. Pregnancy can increase your risk for oral health issues, which can cause various
complications and affect your pregnancy. So taking proper care of your teeth and gums can help you have
a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
How does pregnancy affect your oral health?
Pregnant women are more prone to gum diseases and dental decay. Gum diseases during pregnancy have
been found to have a link with premature birth. Additionally, children of mothers with a higher number of
untreated cavities are three times more likely to develop cavities as a child. So pregnancy and dental issues are a problem which needs to be dealt with.
During pregnancy, changes in your body can affect your teeth and gums due to the increased levels of
various hormones. Eating habits due to pregnancy cravings affect your dental health too. Oral problems
commonly observed during pregnancy may be:
Pregnant women are more prone to dental decay or cavities due to changes in eating habits, improper
oral hygiene maintenance, etc. You can pass on these decay-causing bacteria to your baby after childbirth.
Inflamed and bleeding gums or gingivitis is a common observation in pregnant women. Gingivitis is a result
of pregnancy hormones. This may get aggravated and lead to periodontal disease causing bone loss. As a
result, your teeth may get loose, and they may have to be extracted. In addition, periodontal infections are
associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, like preterm birth and low birth weight of the baby.
Pregnancy tumours (also called pyogenic granuloma):
These are not cancer but are lumps on the gums between teeth. Pregnancy tumours look red and raw, and
they bleed easily and usually go away on their own after giving birth.
Pregnant women commonly experience vomiting due to morning sickness. This exposes the teeth to
excess stomach acids, which harm the enamel of the tooth surface, causing dental erosion.
How can you prevent dental problems during pregnancy?
It is imperative to get regular dental check-ups before and during pregnancy so that your dentist can find
and treat dental problems early. You must follow proper oral hygiene measures to maintain good oral
health. Brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day and floss at least once a day. Regular
brushing and flossing can remove plaque and help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Routine teeth
cleanings also help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Try to maintain a balanced diet with fibre-rich
foods and limit sweets.
How are dental problems treated during pregnancy?
While visiting a dentist, make sure that you inform your dentist about your pregnancy and any medicines
you may be taking.
Depending on your condition, you may be able to wait for treatment after delivery. Certain medicines like
painkillers may be safe during pregnancy; take these only after consulting your dentist or healthcare
providers. You can have dental treatment any time during pregnancy; however, it is better to schedule it in
the second trimester if it is not an emergency procedure.
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