You probably know that being pregnant causes many changes to the body. What you might not know is that pregnancy has implications for your dental care as well. Due to the changes in hormones experienced during pregnancy, this period can negatively affect your oral health.
So while it might be common knowledge to let your physician know about your pregnancy status, it’s also a good idea to tell your dentist if you are recently pregnant or trying to conceive.
Periodontal Health While Pregnant
An increase in hormone levels can negatively affect the health of your gums, leading to an increase in periodontal disease. The pregnancy hormones progesterone and estrogen increase the level of gum inflammation, peaking in the third trimester. The good news is that you can minimize these effects by reducing the amount of plaque on your teeth.
Periodontal health is essential because advanced gum disease (periodontitis) is associated with premature birth and low birth weight. So, your dentist may recommend additional hygiene appointments to make sure your gums remain in good condition.
Morning sickness is unpleasant enough by itself; however, it poses an additional risk to teeth. When you vomit, the stomach acid can harm tooth enamel and raise the ph level within the mouth. After a session of morning sickness, you might think that immediately brushing your teeth is a good choice. However, you should actually avoid brushing your teeth for 1-2 hours. That’s because your tooth enamel is in a weakened state, and brushing can further the erosion of the enamel. Instead, to neutralize the acidity, you may rinse your mouth with water combined with a teaspoon of baking soda. You can also chew sugar-free gum. Remember, wait 1-2 hours before brushing!
In conclusion, taking care of your body plays a big part in the baby’s health, and oral health is an essential component in the big picture!