Taking Care of Your Dental Health during Pregnancy
A new life is always a cause for celebration but pregnancy can bring about many changes, not only to your body but also to your oral health. It can also be an extremely busy time with so much to plan for, but it is important to make sure you look after your teeth and gums during this time.
How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health
During pregnancy there are massive hormonal changes that may affect your oral health. Increases in progesterone and oestrogen make your gum tissue more sensitive to plaque bacteria, which in turn can increase the risk of developing a condition called pregnancy gingivitis, a form of gum disease. This can develop anywhere between the third and nine month of pregnancy and common symptoms include swollen, red or irritated gums that may bleed when you brush or floss. The problem can be made far worse if you already have gum disease. Advanced gum disease or periodontal disease can have serious consequences, increasing the likelihood that you will have a premature, low birthweight baby.
Morning sickness is a common problem and we know it can be tempting to brush your teeth straightaway. However it is better to simply rinse your mouth with plain water and to wait at least 30 minutes before you brush your teeth. This helps to minimise the damage to your teeth that can be caused by their exposure to strong stomach acids. By waiting a while you allow your teeth to re-mineralise or re-harden, reducing the damage. It can be useful to make sure you always have a toothbrush and some toothpaste with you, as well as a small bottle of water and it might be nice to have some fluoride mouthwash to help freshen up.
How We Can Help You
Ideally we like to see women before they become pregnant so it’s a great idea to book a check-up and hygiene appointment if you are thinking of adding to your family. By coming to see us beforehand, we can treat any problems before you become pregnant rather than possibly having to delay treatment until your baby is born. If you are already pregnant then come to see us as soon as you can and don’t forget that pregnant women are able to see an NHS dentist in Harrow for free treatment.
If we feel you are more at risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis, we might suggest you have more regular hygiene appointments at this time as regularly removing plaque and tartar from your teeth will decrease the risk of this condition developing. Our aim is to make sure your teeth and gums are strong and healthy right throughout your pregnancy and so you can enjoy having a healthy baby.
If you are expecting a new baby or are planning to become pregnant in the near future then we’d welcome you here at Imperial Dental Care. Our dentist in Harrow can take extremely good care of you during and after your pregnancy and of course don’t forget that we do treat children at our dental practice so we’d love to see your little one as soon as they get that first tooth. You can get in touch with us on 020 8427 2264.