Pregnant? Let Us Keep You Smiling
Pregnancy should be a time of joy but it’s also a time when you need to take good care of yourself and that includes your dental health. While many women will pay extra attention to their diet in order to make sure their growing baby has everything they need to develop, they may not take such care looking after their teeth and gums. In fact the need for good dental care is increased during pregnancy due to the hormonal changes that take place.
How Pregnancy Affects Your Dental Health
Increases in hormones such as progesterone increase the sensitivity of your gum tissue to plaque bacteria. This increase in sensitivity amplifies any response to toxins produced by these bacteria, unfortunately increasing the risk of inflamed gums. There is even a name for this condition as it is called pregnancy gingivitis and can cause the gums to become red and swollen and you may notice they begin to bleed whenever you brush your teeth. This condition can begin to develop as soon as the second month of pregnancy and continues until your baby is born. Things can be even worse if you already have any form of gum disease as there is a greater risk of gum disease or periodontal disease becoming more severe. Advanced periodontal disease has also been linked in a number of clinical studies to premature births and low birthweight babies.
How We Can Help You
Ideally, our dentist in Downham Market would love to see you before you become pregnant and it’s a great idea to get a full dental check-up before you begin trying for a baby. This way we can make sure you don’t have any untreated dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease and can provide the appropriate treatment before your pregnancy commences. If you are already pregnant then don’t delay and book an appointment to come and see us as soon as you can.
During your pregnancy our dentist in Downham Market is likely to want to keep a close eye on your dental health to check for any signs of pregnancy gingivitis. Regular check-ups will help us pick up any early signs as soon as possible and if we feel that you are more risk of pregnancy gingivitis then we may suggest you book more frequent appointments with our hygienist. This is because a regular scale and polish will remove plaque and calculus. These substances are responsible for producing the toxins that inflame your gums and cause gum disease and pregnancy gingivitis. By regularly removing them, we can help keep your teeth and gums in great condition right throughout your pregnancy.
If you suffer from morning sickness then we can also offer practical advice on how to deal with this until it passes. We strongly recommend keeping a small dental kit with you so you can freshen up after being ill. It is best to rinse your mouth with plain water immediately after suffering from morning sickness but wait at least half an hour before brushing as this allows pH levels in your mouth to normalise, decreasing the risk of acid erosion.
If you are pregnant or are thinking of starting a family then please call Downham Market Dental Care to book your appointment today. You can phone us on 01366 382265.