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Mandy Kloppers

Pregnancy and Oral Health: All that You Need to Know

Dentistry for adults has been the least essential health issue among them. People have been too busy in their lives that cannot afford a visit to a dentist. Some are fearful too. For the fearful ones who have issues of anxiety or are devastated by the sight of the needle, dentists have come up with the use of oral sedation, especially the laughing gas, to make people’s experiences happy. This makes dentistry for adults a better experience and pain-free. Still, it is prevalent to see that oral health has been neglected generally and during pregnancies, particularly. Pregnancy is one of the most critical phases in a woman’s life. During this time, a woman’s body has to undergo a lot of changes. There is one dimension to this change that many expecting families tend to ignore. And, that is, oral health. Many people cannot identify the relationship between pregnancy and oral health. Pregnant women often miss out on the fact that hormonal changes can increase the risk of various oral health issues, including cavities and Gingivitis.

Maintaining oral health is directly related to your overall health. The wait for your new-born should not be a painful one. Therefore, to keep your mouth healthy, the following risks should always be kept in mind:

 

  1. Tooth Decay and Cavities: Teeth are more vulnerable during pregnancies and prone to cavities and tooth decay. The increased intake of carbohydrates can be one major cause of it. Increased release of acid in the stomach during pregnancy can lead to morning sickness that can, in turn, lead to tender gums and bad breath. Morning sickness also increases the amount of acid in your mouth, which adversely affects your enamel and causes the falling off of the outer covering. To neutralize the effect of the acid, you can use baking soda, i.e., a base, mixed with a teaspoon of water, and rinse your mouth before brushing. The growth of cavity-causing bacteria tends to increase during pregnancy due to a change in eating and other habits. These cavity-causing bacteria can easily transmit from one’s mouth to the baby’s mouth. These untreated cavities in the baby can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss in later life.

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  1. Pregnancy Gingivitis: Hormonal changes during pregnancy is a necessary experience. Your sweet cravings, your anger issues, and your cravings for pickles are all due to hormones. These hormonal changes can cause a periodontal condition known as “Pregnancy Gingivitis.” This condition is an inflammation of the gums that can cause bleeding when brushing or flossing. Gingivitis makes your gums tender and swollen. During such a case, you must use soft bristle brushes and floss at least once a day. Gingivitis, if not treated, can lead to a more severe body hazard.
  2. Pregnancy Tumours: Another risky illness that hormonal imbalance can cause is pregnancy tumors. The name can carry us away thinking that it is something cancerous, but it is not malignant. The raspberry-like structures may appear in between your teeth and can cause bleeding and pain. The cause of these small tumors is mainly due to the accumulation of excessive plaque. Your dentist can easily remove them and clean the plaque to prevent further growth of these tumors. The tumors generally disappear after the delivery of the child. If the case still bothers you and causes discomfort, you must visit a dentist.
  3. Periodontitis: Periodontal bacteria cause the bacterial attack that infects the gums and leads to inflammation commonly known as Periodontitis. The infected gums get weak and the teeth start to loosen up its structure. Periodontitis can lead to tooth decay, and bacterial infection can transmit to the child easily, if not treated early. This disease can cause significant discomfort if not shown to a dentist.

 

Dental care to be taken during pregnancy:

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  1. Routine dental check-up: You should inform your dentist about your pregnancy and visit him once every two weeks or as your dentist recommends. You must not defer your dental care for later because, after the delivery of your baby, you might get too busy and focused on him/her.
  2. Medications: If you have any dental condition for which medicines have been prescribed, the medication must be cross-checked for safety with your gynecologist. The approved drugs should be taken on time. If your dentist recommends you a dental X-Ray, you should not be worried. The dental X-rays are safe, and so are other minor activities like cavity fillings.
  3. Brushing and flossing: You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Flossing can be limited to once a day. Mouthwash can also be a safe option for bad breaths.
  4. Eating habits: Your hormonal imbalance indeed causes all the cravings, but you must control the overconsumption of carbohydrates. You should keep the consumption of sweet food in check.
  5. Remind yourself every day that adult dentistry is as essential as the rest of your health!

 

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