Dental Problems During Pregnancy
If you are keeping up good dental habits and hygiene then there is very unlikely you will experience dental problems. Regardless your dental care may need to change. There are also a few things you need to keep an eye on because occasionally pregnancy can contribute to some dental issues. The worst-case scenario is that a dental disease can affect the development of a foetus. There is already so much to worry about when you’re pregnant and it can all feel overwhelming. Don’t worry, we want to put you at ease. In this blog, we are going through common dental issues that occur during pregnancy and how you can prevent them.
Let your dentist know you’re pregnant
Even if you are not one hundred per cent sure, or the pregnancy is in early stages, you should let your dentist know. This way they can recommend the right treatment for you, and won’t suggest things potentially harmful to you. For the same reason, you should also let them know of any medication you are taking or if you have a medical condition. If you have dental issues your dentist can advise you what is best for you and your baby. Be prepared, some dental treatments may need to be postponed until after birth.
The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can sometimes make your gums swell and bleed. They can also be sensitive, red and may even recede. You’re more likely to show symptoms during your second and eighth month. If untreated, pregnancy gingivitis can lead to tooth decay, loose teeth, loss of teeth and periodontitis that can cause pregnancy complications. Periodontitis is when gum disease reaches the bone. The infection can severely damage your gums, jaw and can increase the risk of preterm birth.
In order to reduce irritation and keep your teeth healthy, you will need to go in for regular and professional cleans. Here is a list of other things you can do for prevention.
- If your gums are sensitive after brushing, gargling salt water can help sterilize and heal your gums
- Avoid drinking sodas and other sugary foods
- Maintain a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Use a softer toothbrush
- Keep up good dental hygiene practices like flossing and regular brushing.
If prevention hasn’t worked you will need to get treatment. Nothing too stressful, you just get a course of antibiotics and medicinal mouthwash. In the absolute worst-case scenario, you may need surgery.
It’s hard enough dealing with nausea and vomiting that comes with morning sickness, but you should keep in mind how it can affect your dental health. Stomach acid that comes from vomiting or acid reflux can start to erode the enamel in your teeth. If you are throwing up a lot then your enamel will start to weaken. If you are experiencing morning sickness then you should gargle with a water and baking soda solution. The baking soda neutralises the gastric acid and readies your mouth for brushing.
You should never brush your teeth straight after vomiting. It actually increases erosion! Instead of getting rid of the acid, brushing only spreads it around.
Don’t let the name stress you out. An oral pregnancy tumour, or pyogenic granuloma, is benign and not related to any infection. They are also incredibly rare. The first signs are little red nodules and don’t be too concerned if they bleed. While they can cause discomfort they are harmful and usually go away in time. Regardless, if you notice a growth you should get them checked by a dentist and get a proper diagnosis. It’s not a huge cause for concern, but it’s best to make sure there is nothing else causing you trouble. If the growth is causing you a lot of discomfort then you can have them removed.
How to boost your dental health during your pregnancy
While it’s likely your teeth won’t give you too much grief during your pregnancy, you can give yourself peace of mind by preventing issues. Here is a list of things that can help keep your smile healthy:
- Tell your dentist that you are pregnant
- Let them know about any medications or medical conditions
- An increase in calcium intake is recommended as pregnancy can lower your calcium levels
- Maintain a healthy and balanced diet
- A softer toothbrush to avoid irritating your gums
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Don’t forget to floss
- After vomiting wash your mouth out with baking soda and water.
- Avoid sugary foods as much as possible, no matter how strong your cravings are!
If you have any concerns, no matter how small they seem to be, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our friendly staff will be happy to schedule an appointment for you – simply call (03) 9702 6111.