If you are pregnant, you are probably well aware of the fact that you’ll encounter several physical changes over the next nine months. Growing a baby inside your body can cause an expanding waistline, swollen feet, odd food cravings, morning sickness and much more. However, are you aware of the changes that occur inside your mouth? Your oral health is actually more vulnerable to complications during pregnancy, especially when it comes to gum disease.
Gum disease is a serious condition for any patient. If it is not treated in a timely manner, periodontal disease can cause tooth loss and dangers to your overall health However, if you are expectant mother, gum disease poses an even greater threat. Studies have shown that untreated gum disease is directly linked to preterm birth. Therefore, for the sake of your own smile and the health and wellness of your unborn baby, put gum disease on your radar.
Just like the majority of changes that occur during pregnancy, hormones are to blame for your increased risk in gum disease. Surges of estrogen and progesterone cause your gum tissues to respond differently to plaque buildup. In fact, it is common to see evidence of gingivitis during the second and third month of pregnancy, which has led to the creation of the term “pregnancy gingivitis.” Keep in mind that gingivitis is very treatable, and can often be reversed with better oral hygiene habits or a deep cleaning from your dentist.
Unfortunately, keeping up with your oral hygiene and regular dental visits may not be easy during pregnancy. Many women experience morning sickness, which may make it challenging to brush and floss your teeth on a recommended basis. In addition, pregnancy can bring on heightened food cravings, often sweet or sugary ones. The extra snacking can allow sugars to sit on the teeth longer than usual, which leaves your smile more vulnerable to decay and infection. Lastly, you may be asked to visit your doctor on a frequent basis. Avoid the urge to cancel your routine dental appointments, as your obstetrician is not responsible for monitoring your oral health.
At Avalon Dental Group, we welcome the opportunity to care for your smile during pregnancy. We understand the unique dental health challenges that women face during this special time. Through routine exams and cleanings, we can protect your unborn baby by keeping your mouth free of gum disease! While elective and non-emergency procedures are best to postpone until after you give birth, routine dental cleanings are considered very safe during pregnancy.