September 1, 2016
Your body will change a lot throughout your pregnancy. Expecting mothers are encouraged to change their diet, keep active and take prenatal vitamins – but rarely anyone discusses the importance of oral health! Here are three oral conditions you may experience during your pregnancy and how to address them.
Due to the normal shift in hormones during pregnancy, the majority of expecting women experience some degree of red, puffy gums. This condition is sometimes referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis” and can be identified as gums that are sensitive, irritable, and more prone to bleeding.
The best way to prevent pregnancy gingivitis is to make sure that you floss and brush your teeth twice each day with a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. It is also imperative that you continue to see your dentist regularly for dental checkups throughout your pregnancy.
One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy is morning sickness. The medical definition of morning sickness is “nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.”
When you vomit, strong, corrosive stomach acids pass through your mouth. These acids are extremely destructive to our teeth. If, after vomiting, your teeth are not cleaned properly, these acids can damage teeth enamel and cause noticeable decay.
To avoid damage caused by morning sickness, thoroughly rinse out your mouth with water immediately and before brushing and flossing.
The last pregnancy oral irregularity you may experience is commonly known to dentists as “pregnancy tumors”. Don’t worry – these are benign, non-cancerous masses of tissue that appear on and around the gums. Usually appearing around the second trimester, the “tumors” will most likely disappear after the birth of the baby. If the tissue masses do not disappear, and you are worried about them, meet with your dentist and have them removed.
If you are expecting, make sure you inform your dentist prior to your next dental appointment. This information will help them prescribe the right procedures and medications. If you have any large dental procedures planned, your dental office will help you reschedule them for after you give birth.