Understanding Oral Health When You Are Pregnant
Pregnancy changes many things inside a woman’s body, even your oral health. The way your gums react to pregnancy is different than how they would otherwise. This is why taking the steps to protect your teeth and gums is so important. During pregnancy, a woman’s hormone levels change and as a result, oral health issues can arise. Gum disease and pregnancy tumors are the most common problems faced by pregnant women. While you are looking at everything you eat, the soundness of your sleep, and reducing your stress, you should also keep track of your oral health.
What are the Complications of Changing Hormone Levels on a Woman’s Oral Health?
Hormones can do a lot to your physical health and mental state. During pregnancy, hormones are the reason behind up and down emotions, a bladder than never seems to fully empty, and your quirky pregnancy-related food choices. Swelling in the gums, which happens during pregnancy, is also hormone-driven. The gums tend to bleed more often and when this happens the condition a pregnant mother develops is called pregnancy gingivitis.
If you experience this, while you are pregnant, you should speak with your San Diego dentist about gum disease treatment. It may be necessary to have more teeth cleanings done during your pregnancy. Your dentist will be able to give you the guidance you need to keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy. Soft-bristled brushes will be gentle on the gums and a deep-cleaning toothpaste can stop further plaque and tartar from building up on the teeth which can exacerbate your gingivitis further. Even more than ever, flossing is important to keep bits of food out of nooks and crannies in your mouth which are much more pronounced when the gums are swollen.
Pregnancy tumors are a scary name used for growths that most often show up in the second trimester. These growths have an appearance similar to raspberries and they grow between the teeth. They are also a result of hormonal changes int the body. Thankfully, pregnancy tumors are not malignant and will clear up after your baby is born. However, if they are causing you any discomfort, your San Diego family dentist can remove them.
Not all women experience morning sickness, which can happen at any time of the day or all day, not just in the morning. But, many do experience this symptom. If you are suffering from nausea and vomiting while pregnant, the stomach acid that is in constant contact with your teeth can cause them to degrade. A quick swish of baking soda and water in your mouth after you have an episode is a good way to neutralize that acid. Swishing with baking soda to clean your mouth out is also a good practice before you brush.
Do You Need to Make an Appointment With a San Diego Dentist?
Keeping every part of your body healthy and strong during pregnancy is very important. If mom is healthy so is her baby. Your dentist can help you adjust your oral health routine as necessary to combat the changes in your body. It is also important to tell your dentist that you are pregnant as soon as you know so that they can change up the medications or treatments they administer to keep you and your baby safe. Seeing your dentist while pregnant is encouraged by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). To set up your appointment, call the office of Curtis L. Chan, DDS. Dr. Chan is a Del Mar family dentist who can be reached at (858) 481-9090.
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