Every expecting mother knows the importance of caring for her body while pregnant. What a lot of people don’t know, is that pregnancy can cause several problems with your teeth and gums.
Natural hormone fluctuations during pregnancy make your gums more sensitive to plaque. If this plaque is not removed in a timely fashion (twice a day at least) it can build up below the gumline ultimately causing gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. If this this buildup is not dealt with it can progress and permanently damage the gums and bones which support your teeth.
Pregnant women are also at greater risk for cavities. Food cravings may cause you to eat more sugary foods than normal. Consistent morning sickness can also lead to extra acid in your mouth which can also increase cavity levels
The best way to keep your gums and teeth healthy is brushing at least twice a day and flossing and rinsing daily. Use a soft bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. Be sure to brush for at least 2-3 minutes with a small dab of toothpaste to help prevent cavities. Flossing daily as taught to you by your dental team professionals is equally important. Without flossing over 40% of the surfaces of your teeth are not being cleaned. Taking these steps should help insure that plaque levels remain low and helps keep your gums healthy.
It is extremely important that your dental health care team know that you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. This will allow your dental health care team to talk to your doctor and determine what they feel can be done safely in the way of dental treatment, dental x-rays and medications if you need them. You should never be afraid of sharing this information or asking questions. Your dental health care team can also provide you with lots of helpful information so you can maintain your dental health during your pregnancy as well as information regarding your infants dental care and progress.