Pregnancy and oral health
Pregnancy causes hormonal changes to a woman’s body and increases their risk of developing oral health problems including tooth decay, gingivitis or periodontitis. Research shows that almost 70% of pregnant women at some stage during the pregnancy will develop some oral health problems which can have a detrimental effect on both mother and the unborn child.
Pregnancy gingivitis (gum inflammation) is the most common condition in pregnancy and is caused by poor oral hygiene (mainly plaque) and increased hormone activity. While pregnancy gingivitis can occur anytime during the pregnancy, being at it worst during the second trimester, it is often a pre-existing condition. Managing pregnancy gingivitis is very important so that it doesn’t progress to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis can cause serious oral health problems that eventually leads to tooth loss.
Research suggests that untreated oral conditions in pregnancy can lead to pre-term labour, low weight of baby at birth and even miscarriages. Hence it is paramount for a mums-to-be to take a great care of themselves and their mouth. If you find that your gums are painful, swollen and bleed easily or just want to double check that everything is fine please contact the surgery or arrange an appointment with our dentist or dental hygienist
Oral care tips for a healthy pregnancy:
- Regular check-ups and hygiene visits
- Strict home care routine and meticulous plaque removal even before you are pregnant
- Flossing and cleaning in between teeth is paramount
- Find time for oral care at the time of the day when sickness is not present
- Use fluoride toothpaste and employ ‘spit don’t rinse’ technique
- Choose a softer toothbrush if your gums are sore or bleeding
- Alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash can help with nausea and after frequent snacking
- Rinse your mouth after morning sickness to prevent the acids from affecting your teeth
- Stop smoking and have a healthy diet (if possible reduce the amount and frequency of snacking on sugary food and drinks)
And remember that giving special attention to your gums and teeth will prevent any complications in the future and set a great example to your new child.
Should you have any questions, please e mail us: