For moms-to-be, there is no better time to check in with your dentist as well as your obstetrician! Because of the increase in estrogen and progesterone production, your periodontal health can suffer because of how your gum tissue reacts to plaque during this time. A good dental cleaning by your dentist to remove plaque and hardened tartar will help protect your teeth and gums.
Gingivitis during pregnancy is a condition which can develop because of how your gums react to the increase in hormonal changes–causing your gums to swell and bleed when you brush and floss. This starts happening from the second until the eighth month of pregnancy and stops after you give birth, as your hormones return to their normal levels. If you have bleeding or swollen gums now is the time to step up your brushing and flossing routine and let Dr. Mizrachi remove hardened tartar with a detailed dental cleaning.
You do not want to ignore your oral health any more than you would your monthly doctor visits, as gingivitis has been linked to pre-term delivery and low birth weight babies. Bacteria from your infected gums can travel through the bloodstream to the uterus and induce labor by triggering prostaglandins. So baby your teeth and gums during this special time!
Pregnancy “tumors” in the mouth can develop in 2%-10% of women during pregnancy. These growths erupt between teeth and swollen gums which are irritated. These non-cancerous tumors spring up from plaque build-up and will shrink back down after giving birth. Thankfully, these tumors are uncomfortable but not dangerous. They can be caused by poor oral hygiene, hormones, trauma or viruses.
Things You Can Do:
No. 1. Maintain conscientious oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy. Brush and floss your teeth and gums at least twice a day and see your dentist for a deep cleaning.
No. 2. Avoid brushing your teeth right away after vomiting from morning sickness, as the acids in your mouth erode tooth enamel. You can rinse with plain water to wash away the acids or with baking soda and water to lower the pH levels in the mouth before brushing your teeth.
No. 3. Maintain healthy eating habits and avoid excess sugar and starch consumption which contribute to dental plaque.
No. 4. Brush, floss and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to help reduce plaque.
No. 5. Drink more water to stimulate saliva production and avoid dry mouth. This helps reduce plaque buildup.
In the months to come, take excellent care of your oral health as well as your overall health. At Columbia Dental Excellence, we are excited to help you during this journey. Please contact our caring staff at 410.381.0505 if you have questions or want to schedule an appointment!