Oral Health and Pregnancy: Things to Understand
As many women know, pregnancy affects the entire body. The surge of hormones during pregnancy can affect your oral health too.
The increase of the hormone progesterone may encourage the growth of the bacteria that cause gingivitis in the mouth. Around the second month of pregnancy, some women will start to notice symptoms. Gums that are swollen, redder than normal and bleed more easily during brushing are some signs. Symptoms will usually start to subside after the baby is born.
Enamel erosion is also common in women who have vomiting due to morning sickness. Frequent vomiting can quickly lead to erosion of the teeth. If you are experiencing morning sickness, don’t brush immediately after vomiting. Vomit is highly acidic and will leave the enamel on your teeth more susceptible to damage. Even if brushing gently. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water and then brush 20 – 30 minutes later.
Pregnancy can also cause dry mouth. If this happens to you, drink plenty of water. This will help flush away bacteria growing in the mouth that are typically cleared away by saliva.
It is extremely important to maintain oral hygiene during pregnancy. This includes the typical routine of brushing for two full minutes twice a day, flossing daily and using an antimicrobial mouth wash. There is a Listerine product called Listerine Zero – which has no alcohol in it. Alcohol in mouthwashes have a tendency to dry out your mouth, which is exactly opposite of what we want to happen when you are pregnant. Also, make sure to see your dentist regularly and be sure to tell them of the current stage of your pregnancy.
Sometimes expectant mothers find a swelling in their gums – usually between the teeth. This can grow fairly large. If you notice a thickening of any area of gum tissue, call our office and we will check the area for you.