Looking after Your Dental Health During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, congratulations and you are almost certainly doing your best to stay healthy for yourself and your unborn child, but have you considered your dental health? In fact pregnancy can affect your oral health, largely due to the hormonal changes that take place at this important time. During pregnancy there is a massive change in oestrogen and progesterone levels and this can affect the way your gums react to plaque bacteria in your mouth.
Plaque and Dental Health
It is important for everyone to remove plaque from their teeth on a regular basis, as it builds up in the form a biofilm over the tooth surfaces every day. If a plaque isn’t removed it can cause infection, leading to a disease called gingivitis where gums begin to bleed more frequently. A condition called pregnancy gingivitis can develop as hormonal levels change and this is due to the increased sensitivity of your gums to plaque bacteria. This condition can develop as early as the second month of pregnancy and if you already have any signs of gum disease then this could worsen, potentially developing into a condition called periodontitis which is a much more serious form of gum disease.
If you already have gum disease then we can provide treatment to help prevent this condition from worsening during pregnancy. Gum disease during pregnancy is a serious issue as some studies have linked advanced gum disease or periodontitis to low birth weight babies or premature birth.
Taking Action to Stay Healthy during Pregnancy
At this time in your life, make sure you continue with visits to your dentist in Watton. Regular check-ups and professional cleanings are an essential part of keeping your gums healthy during this important period. If your dentist feels you are at increased risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis, it’s possible they may schedule more frequent cleanings for you as this will remove any hardened plaque, decreasing your risk.
Good dental care at home should be an essential part of your preventative dental plan. Make sure you keep your teeth and gums are clean by brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. You can always ask our friendly dental team for more advice on how to brush thoroughly as it is important to hold your brush at a 45° angle so the bristles can reach right down to the gum line where plaque tends to build up. You may want to think about using a good antibacterial mouthwash or fluoride mouthwash for additional protection.
If you have morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water straight afterwards but try not to brush until at least half an hour later. This helps the acidity levels in your mouth to normalise, minimising the damage done to your teeth by strong stomach acid.
NHS dentistry in Watton is free for pregnant women and Clarence House Dental Care is currently accepting NHS patients. Please contact us on 01953 882777 if you are pregnant, or if you are simply looking for a good NHS dentist in Watton so we can book your initial appointment.