If you've just found out that you are expecting, there are so many things going on in your mind. The baby, your health, your family, the gynac visits, the scans, baby shopping...the list goes on and on. Visiting a dentist while you are pregnant is probably the last thing on your mind. But ladies, there is good amount of reason for you to take extra care of your teeth and gums while you are pregnant. The hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy increase the risk of oral health issues.
The most common dental issues that one can expect during Pregnancy are as follows:
1. Pregnancy Gingivitis- During pregnancy, swollen gums is a common condition. If you notice that your gums are bleeding more frequently during pregnancy, you might just be suffering from Pregnancy Gingivitis. Visit a dentist for a checkup and a teeth cleaning session if needed. At home, follow the brushing twice-a-day, flossing once-a-day and warm saline gargles twice-a-day regime. This should take care of most of the cases of gum problems. In cases of severe gum disease, there is a growing evidence of an increased risk of premature birth and delivering a low birth weight baby. This makes the visit to a dentist during pregnancy all the more important
2. Pregnancy Tumors- Few women develop small growths on the gums during Pregnancy referred to as Pregnancy Tumors. These are harmless growths mostly seen during the 2nd trimester. These are again because of the hormonal changes that are taking place inside your body. Most of them regress after your baby is born. But rarely, they might have to be removed by your dentist. Poor oral hygiene increases the chances of developing a Pregnancy Tumor.
3. Morning Sickness and your teeth-A major percentage of women experience morning sickness during pregnancy. So how is it going to affect our teeth? The acid from your stomach can be really strong for your teeth and can lead to erosion of teeth. To minimise the erosion of teeth, do not brush for atleast 30 minutes after vomiting. This gives the enamel ( outermost layer of teeth ) time to recover from the acid attack. Best thing to neutralise the acid completely is to rinse your mouth with baking soda and water mixture (1 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water).
Also, brushing your teeth can be really difficult if you suffer from Morning Sickness. The mere smell of toothpaste can cause severe gag.
One can follow the tips given below and keep these problems to a minimum.
* Brush using a small head toothbrush
* Use a milder toothpaste
* Brush a little later in the morning when the gag is considerably reduced
* Try to concentrate on your breathing while you brush your back teeth
A summarised to-do list to take good care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy is as follows:
* Brush twice-a-day and floss once everyday
* Eat a well balanced diet in your meals including more of fruits and vegetables, high fibre food and minimise sugar, fat and salt intake
* Avoid aerated drinks and citric juices, as they increase risk of tooth erosion
* Do not smoke while you are pregnant as it can increase the risk of gum diseases, and can adversely affect your unborn baby
* Do visit your dentist for regular check- ups and teeth cleaning. The best time to see your dentist for a routine dental check-up during pregnancy is the 2nd trimester. But, at the same time, in case of an emergency, one needs to visit the dentist even during 1st and last trimester.
Pregnancy is a beautiful phase in a woman's life. There are big changes happening inside and around you. Just remember,that during this beautiful phase, it's just as important to take care of your teeth and gums, as it is the rest of you.