Pregnancy and Your Dental Health
Pregnancy is an exciting time but while many mums-to-be will watch their diet to make sure their baby receives all the nutrients he or she will need to grow properly, not so many will think about their dental health. In fact, dental health can impact the health of an unborn child as some clinical studies have linked poor oral health to premature birth and to underweight babies, although much more research is needed to discover the exact links and nature of this connection.
If you are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant, it’s a great idea to book a check-up with our dentist in South Benfleet and to book a hygiene appointment at the same time. This is because pregnancy brings a number of hormonal changes that increase your risk of developing gum disease and which could affect your unborn child.
Hormone Levels and Gum Disease
As progesterone levels increase, this increases the sensitivity of gum tissue to plaque bacteria that cause gum disease. The increased sensitivity can lead to a condition called pregnancy gingivitis where the gums become more swollen and tender and will bleed more frequently than before. The condition can develop any time from the second to eighth month of pregnancy and if we think you are at risk, then we might recommend you visit South Benfleet Dental Care more frequently for professional cleanings.
Maintaining Good Gum Health throughout Pregnancy
Keeping your teeth and gums meticulously clean will help reduce the chances of developing pregnancy gingivitis. If you already have gum disease, our dentist in South Benfleet can recommend treatments to help control this condition. This may include a treatment to deep clean your gums called scaling and root planing and which is quite similar to a regular hygiene appointment. Scaling and root planing removes hardened plaque bacteria or tartar from your teeth and from any exposed tooth root surfaces. Gum disease can cause the gums to begin pulling away from the teeth which exposes the tooth roots. Thoroughly cleaning the surfaces will give your gums a chance to fight the infection more effectively and to hopefully heal.
Morning Sickness and Your Teeth
If you are unlucky enough to suffer from morning sickness then you’ll probably want to clean your teeth immediately afterwards. However it is better to rinse your mouth with plain water and to wait for half an hour or so and this is because immediately after being sick your mouth will be extremely acidic and your teeth will have become weakened due to being exposed to strong stomach acid. Waiting a while before brushing your teeth allows the acidity levels in your mouth to decrease, enabling your teeth to re-harden slightly. If you brush too soon, you’ll be brushing softer tooth enamel which will be more easily eroded.
You’ll find our dentist in South Benfleet is here to help you with advice and dental treatments during your pregnancy. If you do have any questions about your dental health then please just ask us as we are always more than happy to talk to you. If you are pregnant and haven’t yet visited a dentist, give us a call on 01268 793485 to book your appointment today.