So you are expecting a baby, congratulations! This is a special time for you and your developing baby. To make sure you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery, this is the perfect time to step up your oral care routine.
You will want to see your dentist, along with your obstetrician, especially if you have not been in for a dental cleaning in awhile. Your pregnancy hormones can actually wreak havoc on your pearly whites and gums! The increased estrogen and progesterone can make your gums swell and bleed when you brush and floss. This usually starts happening in the second month and continues through the eighth. Thankfully, it stops after birth when your hormone levels taper off and return to pre-pregnancy levels.
“Pregnancy Gingivitis”, as this condition is sometimes called, can result in preterm delivery and a low birth weight for the baby. This comes about when the bacteria from your infected gums make their way through the bloodstream to your uterus, triggering prostaglandins and inducing labor.
“Pregnancy Tumors” are non-cancerous growths that develop on gum tissue and bleed easily. These may or may not be removed by your dentist. They are uncomfortable but not dangerous, and can develop because of poor hygiene, trauma, viruses and hormones. They shrink down on their own after birth.
Even after your dental checkup and cleaning, you will want to step up your daily oral hygiene routine to protect your tooth enamel and gum health. Brush and floss at least twice daily, using a soft-bristled toothbrush to be gentle on the enamel and gums. If you suffer from morning sickness, don’t brush right away, as the acids will harm your enamel. Instead, rinse well with water first, or even swish a mixture of water and baking soda to lower your pH levels before you brush. Using and antibacterial mouthwash will also help kill germs.
Stay hydrated to avoid dry mouth, so drink plenty of water, and eat lots of leafy greens and lean protein. Avoid sugary, starchy foods as they increase plaque-causing bacteria.
Take good care of you, your developing baby, and let us help you take care of your oral health. Give our office a call if you have any questions or concerns, or to scheduled and appointment at 830-372-2852. At Tier One Dental, we want to keep you smiling!