Dental Health During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know
Thanks to a flood of hormones, pregnancy brings some pretty big changes for the body. Aside from a growing belly to accommodate the little one, pregnancy can also have a significant effect on your dental health. At Westmount Dental Centre, a West Edmonton family dentist, we provide dental care for women at all stages of pregnancy. Knowing what to expect with your dental health when you are expecting can help make the process that much smoother. Let's take a look at the connection between pregnancy and dental health.
Common Dental Health Problems During Pregnancy
The hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy can increase your risk of certain oral health issues, including:
- Pregnancy gingivitis
During pregnancy, blood flow is increased throughout the body, including to the gums. This can lead to a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis. When you have pregnancy gingivitis your gums may feel tender and will likely bleed more easily when brushing and flossing. Because the gums are swollen, it can also be easier for bits of food to get stuck between the teeth, leading to the formation of plaque.
- Tooth erosion
Tooth erosion can become a problem during pregnancy for women who experience morning sickness, as stomach acid can wear away at tooth enamel. Later in pregnancy, acid reflux or heartburn can contribute to erosion as well. The best way to help prevent enamel erosion is to swish with some water and baking soda to help neutralize the acid, especially before you brush your teeth.
- Pregnancy tumours
First of all, don't let the name frighten you - pregnancy tumours are harmless. They are a type of lesion that often appears on the gums or between the teeth, usually during the second trimester. Pregnancy tumours will go away once your baby is born, but you can also ask your dentist to remove them if they are causing you any pain or discomfort.
How to Maintain Good Dental Health During Pregnancy
One of the best ways to ensure good dental health during pregnancy is to simply maintain good oral hygiene habits or to improve your oral hygiene habits if needed. Make sure that you are brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, using a toothbrush with soft bristles, and flossing daily. If morning sickness makes it difficult to brush your teeth, consider at least rinsing with a mouthwash instead.
At-home oral care is only half the battle of any oral care routine. You should also continue visiting your Edmonton dentist on a regular basis while pregnant. In fact, it's a good idea to schedule a dental visit as soon as you find out you are pregnant in order to catch any potential problems early on. Even if your dental health looks good, professional teeth cleaning in Edmonton will help to keep it that way.
The Edmonton dentists at Westmount Dental Centre are here to help you maintain good dental health all throughout your pregnancy. As we are an Edmonton family dentist, you can continue visiting Westmount Dental Centre with your baby once he or she is born. If you have any more questions about oral health during pregnancy or about our services, just contact Westmount Dental Centre today.