Dental health is important for everyone, whether they are a young child or an elderly individual.
However, dental health can play a role in a woman’s pregnancy, which is why it is important for women to understand how to best take care of their mouth and teeth during the nine months when they are with child. In addition, with many pregnant women experiencing food cravings during those months, they can end up consuming an excessive amount of food, which is when it is even more important to maintain good oral standards.
The good news is that it only takes a bit of effort to ensure that you and your baby are not impacted by poor oral health choices during pregnancy.
One of the biggest issues that pregnant women face in relation to their teeth is gingivitis. Due to the massive amounts of progesterone (a hormone) that are being created in a pregnant woman’s body, there is a lot more acid in the mouth during this time.
An excessive amount of acid in the mouth can result in gingivitis, which usually takes the form of red and swollen gums that may bleed when you are brushing or flossing.
If you are experiencing bleeding while brushing or flossing, and you are not doing anything differently to normal, you may want to speak with a dentist immediately. A bit of blood when you are brushing can occur if you are using a different type of brush, or you have not cleaned your teeth for a few days. But if your routine is unchanged, gingivitis is a serious possibly.
See a dentist immediately, as the condition will only get worse with time. The Canadian Dental Association has some good information on the warning signs and treatments of gingivitis.
Another issue that pregnant women may experience during these nine months is tooth decay.
It is even more likely if you are in the unfortunate position where you are experiencing morning sickness most days. Vomiting is not good for your teeth in any way, and morning sickness can cause women to vomit one or two times daily. The amount of acid that builds up in your mouth during this event is going to break down your tooth enamel at rapid rates, which can lead to tooth decay or cavities.
The CDC has a good explanation of cavities for those who are not too familiar with this tooth issue.
For women who go through a ton of morning sickness during their pregnancy, increased brushing and flossing can help a lot. Ensure you are properly rinsing your mouth following your morning sickness. Then brush your teeth as normal, and use some mouthwash to clear and freshen up your mouth completely.
You may also want to visit the dentist a couple of times during the pregnancy for a cleaning.
Mothers who nurse their baby following birth are likely to lose around five percent of their bone mass, because young babies will demand a lot of calcium during the nursing process. A loss of bone mass can result in periodontal disease or gingivitis. If you experience the symptoms of these conditions following the birth, be sure to see a dentist immediately.