Pregnancy causes a lot of changes in your body, from stretch marks to swollen feet. Often dental health can be put on the back burner when compared to everything else going on in your pregnancy, but avoiding regular dental checkups and healthy brushing habits can spell out trouble. It is important for pregnant women need to stay aware of their bodies during pregnancy to keep an eye out for any red flags.
Women who are pregnant are at a higher risk for gum disease and gingivitis due to a surge in certain hormones. This can make gums “overreact” to plaque buildup on the teeth. A buildup of plaque can lead to gingivitis, which causes sensitive gums that are prone to bleeding. Gum disease is considered a threat to pregnant women because there is growing evidence that it can lead to preterm and underweight babies. The bacteria from gingivitis can travel through the bloodstream and to the uterus, which triggers the production of chemicals suspected to cause premature labor.
Some women develop painless bumps on the gums called “pregnancy tumors” which usually show up around the second trimester. These are non-cancerous and will go away on their own after pregnancy. If a pregnancy tumor happens to cause discomfort while eating, it can be removed by your dentist. Studies have also supported the fact that local anesthesia, dental x-rays, and pain medication are safe to use on pregnant women.
Lastly, morning sickness can cause acid erosion to the teeth from stomach acid. To combat this, rinse your mouth with a glass of water with one teaspoon of baking soda mixed in. You can also combat acid erosion by chewing sugar-free gum.
Even if you don’t think you are facing any dental issues, still go for regular checkups at your dentist to stop potential issues for ever becoming serious problems. If you are in your first trimester or have just become pregnant, be sure to contact us for an appointment so we can assist with a safe and happy pregnancy.