How Does Pregnancy Affect Oral Health?
Pregnancy changes a woman’s body in so many ways. While the growth of the belly is the most obvious change, pregnancy can also effect change in subtler ways, such as by impacting oral health. It’s important for expecting mothers to see a dentist for preventive oral care. Getting regular checkups, exams, and cleanings can reduce the risk of the following problems.
Expecting mothers are at a higher risk of developing gingivitis. This is the early stage of gum disease. The risk of gingivitis may be attributed to the dramatic rise in progesterone levels. Progesterone is a hormone that can encourage the growth of bacteria, which can cause gingivitis. You can reduce your risk by brushing two to three times daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss at least once per day with traditional floss, and consider adding a water flosser to your routine as well. If you notice any gum swelling, bleeding, or tenderness, see your dentist right away.
Granulomas typically affect women in their second trimester. They are benign, red growths on the gum tissue. Usually, women will find them on the upper gum tissue. It’s possible for the granulomas to bleed and crust over. Women who have gingivitis during pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing granulomas too. Although the granulomas will go away after you give birth, they may cause discomfort, or interfere with speaking or eating. If so, your dentist may remove them.
Some women have severe morning sickness, while others barely experience it at all. If you develop nausea and vomiting often during your pregnancy, you may be at a higher risk of enamel erosion. This occurs when the stomach acid interacts with the teeth and erodes some of the enamel away.
For complete oral health care at all stages of life, you can turn to the dentistry office of John R. Carson, DDS. Our friendly office will help you feel at ease with any dental procedure you need. New and current patients throughout the Tucson area can call us at (520) 514-7203 to request an appointment.