Pregnancy comes with a whole host of changes to a woman’s body, ranging from hormonal changes to physical ones. Unlike the obvious changes, like the development of a baby bump, pregnancy can cause changes to your body that may go unnoticed. Some of those changes can have a dramatic impact on your oral health. Hormonal changes in the body can have a direct impact on its normal behavior. This is why it is important for women to take excellent care of their teeth while pregnant. The hormonal changes increase the risk of developing gum disease because it makes your gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for gingivitis to develop, and that can have a big impact on the health of the unborn baby. It is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience pregnancy gingivitis, which can be identified by swelling, bleeding, redness or softness of the gum tissue. Periodontal disease, a more advanced oral health condition can also affect the health of your baby. Research has shown that an expectant mother who suffers from periodontal disease may deliver a premature, low birth weight baby. These mothers are actually seven times more likely to have a baby that is born earlier and smaller than the usual baby, which increases the risk of future health problems and disabilities. There is hope, however, if you are diagnosed with periodontal disease and you are pregnant, our expert dentists will recommend a very common, non-surgical procedure called scaling and root planning. This simple procedure cleans the root of the teeth and the teeth themselves to remove plaque, tartar, and bacterial toxins. This can reduce the risk of having a premature or low weight birth. Additionally, this can reduce many of the symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis. Follow these tips for optimal oral health during pregnancy:
- Avoid sweets, as sweets provide a excellent food source for harmful bacteria.
- As a precaution, avoid dental treatments during the first trimester and the second half of the third trimester. Let your dentist know you are pregnant.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your baby’s teeth develop in the third month of pregnancy, so you want to be sure to be eating plenty of good nutrients to feed the growing baby.
- Pay special attention to your gums, and if you see any changes call your dentist at Golden Smiles Dental (909) 481-8990 right away.
- Maintain good oral hygiene, brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least once a day.
- Try a softer toothbrush if you cannot stand brushing your teeth due to morning sickness.