When you’re pregnant, focusing on your oral health might be the last thing on your mind. You might be too tired to maintain good dental hygiene habits, and it may be difficult to find time to visit the dentist. Learn how pregnancy can affect your dental health, and why it’s important to take care of your mouth when you’re expecting.
Dental Health During Pregnancy
How Pregnancy Affects Dental Health
Morning sickness, which is most common in the early stages of pregnancy, exposes your teeth to acids that can erode the enamel and lead to cavities. As your pregnancy progresses, hormonal changes can make your mouth susceptible to bacteria, putting you at risk for pregnancy gingivitis (gum disease). This condition can cause the gums to bleed, swell, or feel sore, and sometimes leads to a pregnancy granuloma, a benign growth that forms on the gums. Many pregnant women experience dry mouth, which can contribute to tooth decay if there is not enough saliva to wash away bacteria from the teeth.
Keeping Your Mouth Healthy During Pregnancy
To avoid dental problems while pregnant, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Brush twice a day, and floss once a day. See a dentist regularly to get a professional teeth cleaning and have your gums examined. After a bout of morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to wash away excess acid. If the taste or smell of toothpaste contributes to morning sickness for you, switch to a bland toothpaste or brush with baking soda. To relieve dry mouth, try sucking on sugarless candies or chewing sugarless gum. You can undergo urgent dental procedures such as root canals and tooth extractions during pregnancy, but your dentist may recommend postponing elective procedures such as teeth whitening until after you’ve given birth.
For more than 20 years, Alpine Family Dentistry in Eagle River, AK, has provided high-quality, affordable dental care for patients of all ages. Their team is committed to providing you with personalized care in a comfortable environment. Call 907-694-2409 today to schedule a dentist appointment, or visit their website to learn more about the practice.