You just learned that you are pregnant and could not be more happy about it. You know all about the morning sickness, the weight gain, the swelling, and the discomfort, but all of those symptoms are temporary and will be well worth it when you finally get to hold your newborn. One thing that the pregnancy books often overlook, however, is how pregnancy affects your teeth. At Baldwinsville Gentle Dentistry, we want you to have the healthiest pregnancy possible; to that end, we offer the following information that will keep your gums and teeth in perfect shape for the coming nine months and beyond.
How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Gums
The most common dental concern that affects pregnant women is gingivitis, which is often the result of hormone fluctuations. This type of gingivitis (which is the beginning stage of periodontitis, or gum disease) begins around the second month of pregnancy, but with proper dental care, usually dissipates after birth. No matter how red and swollen your gums are, keep brushing and flossing to minimize your chances of pregnancy gingivitis.
A less common concern is pregnancy granulomas. These red growths on the gums can bleed and cause discomfort, but will likely go away after birth. In extreme cases, the granuloma may make speaking and eating uncomfortable and can be easily removed, but there is no guarantee that the growth won’t reappear.
How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Teeth
Because they experience morning sickness (in some cases, all-day sickness), pregnant women are more likely to experience enamel erosion. Each time they vomit, acids come in contact with the teeth and weaken tooth enamel, which is your body’s first defense against tooth decay. The problem is only compacted by brushing immediately after vomiting, as the abrasiveness of toothpaste and toothbrush essentially help strip away the weakened enamel. It is better to rinse your mouth thoroughly with baking soda and water and wait for 30 to 45 minutes before brushing.
Dental Care During Pregnancy
No matter what myths you may have heard to the contrary, it is important to stick to your normal dental routine during pregnancy. This includes brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for an examination and professional cleaning. Whatever you do, be sure to tell your dentist if you’re pregnant so they know what to expect and can postpone x-rays or invasive procedures until after you’ve given birth.
Pregnant or not, if you live in or near Baldwinsville, New York, we’d love to help you have a gleaming smile. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.