Thorough dental care is necessary during every phase of life, but when you’re pregnant, it’s especially critical. Find out more about pregnancy and oral wellness below to take care of yourself and your growing baby.
Pregnancy & Oral Health Conditions
Pregnancy leaves women more vulnerable to oral health complications, including:
- Pregnancy Gingivitis: Gingivitis can occur in pregnancy as a result of hormonal surges that increase blood flow, which can leave gum tissue red, swollen, and sensitive. Left unaddressed, the condition can progress to periodontitis, a serious dental infection that increases the risk of preterm birth.
- Tooth Decay: Factors like morning sickness and increased consumption of carbohydrates can leave expectant mothers with cavities. Preventing cavities is essential since a woman’s oral health while pregnant can affect her baby’s risk of tooth decay.
- Pregnancy Tumors: While they may sound concerning, these growths are simply swollen areas that develop between teeth around the second trimester. These overgrowths of tissue are typically harmless and often disappear after giving birth, but dentists can remove them if needed. It’s suspected that they may result from plaque buildup.
Dental Care Tips for Pregnant Women
Fortunately, the concerns above are avoidable with sensible dental care practices. Pregnant women can keep plaque and bacteria at bay by flossing daily and brushing twice a day with fluoride-enriched toothpaste. Fluoride combines with calcium and phosphate found in the enamel to strengthen teeth and even reverse early tooth decay.
Additionally, limit sugary snacks and see your dentist regularly for cleanings. Most patients need cleanings at six-month intervals, but if any early signs of gingivitis appear, your dentist may recommend more frequent appointments.
While you’re focused on taking the best care of your body so your baby can thrive, soon you’ll have another little mouth to tend to as well. When your baby’s first tooth emerges, the team from Pedodontic Associates would love to meet your little one. This practice has three convenient locations on Oahu and Maui, from which they’ve served the community for more than 25 years. Learn about what to expect for your baby’s first visit on their website, or call to schedule an appointment at one of the following locations: (808) 735-1733 for Honolulu, (808) 487-7933 for Aiea, or (808) 877-0066 for Kahului.