Whether you are pregnant with your first child or your fifth child, pregnancy is a truly blessed event. Bringing a child into the world is unlike anything you have ever experienced. Your body is going through phenomenal changes every day of the pregnancy. When you are pregnant, you may be so consumed with doing everything the right way, such as eating right and exercising, that you forget about one important factor – your oral health. Pregnancy can have a definite impact on your oral health. Understanding some of the possible changes can help ensure that you get the appropriate treatment in a timely manner.
- Changing hormone levels can affect your gums and increase your risk for gingivitis. When a pregnant woman develops gingivitis during pregnancy, it is called pregnancy gingivitis because it is a result of the pregnancy. The signs include swollen, tender gums and bleeding during brushing. You may notice the symptoms within the first trimester, and it can get worse throughout the pregnancy. It is essential that you visit your dentist right away to combat the problem before it gets worse.
- The enamel of your teeth can also be damaged by morning sickness. When you get sick, you are exposing your teeth to the harsh bile from your stomach. This can damage your enamel and lead to tooth decay. It can also lead to severe cases of bad breath.
- Craving different foods can even lead to tooth decay, especially if you crave sugary or acidic foods. As a pregnant woman, you want to give in to your cravings – in some cases, it is almost impossible to deny the cravings! However, too much sugar or acid left to sit in your mouth can lead to decay.
- You may also experience dry mouth during pregnancy. This dry sensation in your mouth could lead you to drink just about anything you can get your hands on to get some relief, which could lead to tooth decay if you drink the wrong kinds of beverages.
Now, just because you are pregnant does not mean that you have to experience dental problems. As long as you are proactive in your dental routine, you may not notice any problems at all. Make sure you brush and floss regularly, and you can also use mouthwash to help cleanse your mouth and get rid of bad breath. You can also give in to your cravings, as long as you clean your mouth after a sugary snack. To alleviate dry mouth, try chewing some sugar-free gum to kick your saliva into action. Your saliva will help keep your mouth wet and get rid of the sticky, dry feeling.
There is no reason why you cannot enjoy your pregnancy without worrying too much about dental health. Keep up your regular dental routine, and make sure you schedule at least one checkup during your pregnancy to ensure all is well within your mouth. If you do notice any significant problems, such as tooth pain or significant gum pain/bleeding that you cannot alleviate, make an appointment with your dentist right away.