If you are pregnant, the last thing on your mind is to visit your dentist. This applies doubly if you’re a new mom. I get it! However, you must resist the inclination to lapse with dental care. Why? While pregnant, your risk for major dental problems increases. Those culprits – estrogen and progesterone, are not only stimulating a host of changes that are making you uncomfortable but also improve the environment in your mouth to one more susceptible to disease. Your inflammatory response is on high alert to protect you and your baby.
Translation: undisturbed plaque and food between your teeth will irritate your gums more than before. This leads to pregnancy gingivitis. Your gums may be swollen, tender and bleed easily upon brushing and flossing. A good home care routine of brushing and flossing will be more important now than ever before. If you haven’t done so already, this is the time to consider a good, power toothbrush that will help you clean more efficiently. If you have skimped on flossing before, don’t do it now! Have you experienced nausea and vomiting? The acid exposure may lead to tooth erosion and decay.
Since we’ve introduced decay (AKA cavities) to our discussion, I’d be remiss not to mention diet. Every healthcare provider, book, online forum, site, etc., have told you what to eat and how much so I won’t go there. The reality is that at times, we eat what we can and sometimes, we eat what we want. Just remember, your mouth is more sensitive to gum disease and tooth decay. It’s not just sugars but fermentable carbohydrates and frequent snacking that can and will leave remnants on your teeth which those acid producing bacteria will use to contribute to cavities.
Although there is much to do in preparation for your little one, remember not to neglect yourself. Come in to see us. Proper homecare coupled with routine office visits will keep you healthy. As your baby grows, lying in the dental chair may seem less appealing. Rest assured, we will make every adjustment to keep you comfortable and provide a great experience.
Swollen Gums During Pregnancy – American Pregnancy Association
Women’s Hormones and Oral Health – WebMD