Oral Health and Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes a lot of physical changes in the body of a woman. It affects both your hormones and appetite levels. Actually, it’s one of the most important times in the life of a woman.

The changes that occur during pregnancy can significantly affect oral health of a pregnant woman. Since good oral health is important for your overall health and that of the child, it’s advisable that you visit your local Richmond dentist during pregnancy. Despite the importance of oral health, research shows that not more than 34% of pregnant women visit dentists.

Importance of Good Oral Health to Pregnant Women

Hormonal changes that occur due to pregnancy can result in many changes in your mouth. Studies show that the most common oral disease in pregnant women is gingivitis. Gingivitis is reported in at least 30 percent of pregnancies.

Gingivitis is simply a buildup of plaque that causes swelling and irritation of the gums. Make sure you see a dentist because it must be treated with professional cleaning. You’ll also have to brush your teeth properly and don’t forget to floss. If you don’t treat gingivitis, it might lead to periodontitis, which is actually a very serious form of gum disease.

A big percentage of pregnant women tend to delay the treatment of oral diseases because they think it’s not safe for fetal growth. However, the truth is that dentists can safely perform routine dental treatment at any time when you’re pregnant. If you fail to treat dental disease, it can cause you pain and infections. It can also expose you to unnecessary medication, which is actually not safe for fetal growth.

Pregnancy causes hormonal fluctuations. This can produce benign pregnancy tumors in the mouth. Even though these tumors naturally disappear after delivery, it’s important to have a dentist examine your mouth because sometimes, surgical removal may be required especially if these tumors bleed. These tumors can also interfere with eating. They can also fail to go away even after delivery. Therefore, the best thing to do is to see your dentist when these tumors appear.

Dental care during pregnancy is safe and necessary for fighting the adverse effects of oral disease. When you visit a dentist during pregnancy, any dental findings including those that are normally common during pregnancy will all be treated.

Apart from examining you for oral diseases, a dentist might also notice any dental erosion, which often results from increased acid in your mouth following morning sickness.

Vomiting is a common occurrence during pregnancy. When you vomit, there is an increased acid in your mouth, which needs to be neutralized to prevent any potential dental disease. Take a teaspoon of baking soda and dissolve it in a cup of water. Use this to rinse your mouth to neutralize acid after vomiting.

Brushing your teeth is still the foundation of maintaining oral health. However, you should only brush your teeth after neutralizing the acid. Before brushing, you should first rinse your mouth. This will prevent any further damage to your enamel.

Prenatal care should include oral health assessment and treatment. This will allow you to receive advice from the dentists on how you can ensure proper oral hygiene. During oral health assessment and treatment, dentists also advice mothers on infant oral health care.

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