The Changes to Your Dental Health During Pregnancy
What nobody ever tells you… but your dentist will
If you are like most pregnant women you are seeing many unexpected changes to your body and health during your pregnancy. Many pregnant women report increased irritation to their gums and changes in sensitivity to their teeth and gums, in addition to an over-active gag reflex. One dental patient mentioned that she knew she was pregnant for her 2nd and 3rd babies when she had an overly-sensitive gag reflex when brushing her teeth.
Whatever your experience, dental care during pregnancy is safe and important… for both you and baby.
Common Oral Health Conditions During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, or think you are pregnant, let your Lawrence Park Dental Team know at the time of booking. They will then be prepared to share some of the most common changes that you might expect during pregnancy, such as:
Infections: Infections of any kind are to be closely monitored while pregnant because they are a risk to the baby’s health. Although the connection is not yet fully understood or researched, dental infections may increase the odds of having a premature birth or undersized baby.
Pregnancy-related Gingivitis: During pregnancy, gums may become sensitive and more prone to swelling and bleeding. This is common and is caused by the increased levels of progesterone in the body, which has been known to enhance bacteria growth. In some cases, periodontal irritants can create lumps (generally painless and non-cancerous) that disappear after pregnancy or, in some cases, require professional attention.
Enamel Erosion: For those who experience morning sickness, there is always a chance for enamel erosion because of the acid left in the mouth. To protect against enamel erosion, women should rinse their mouth with salted water or sodium bicarbonate rinses to manage the acid levels. Also, brushing the teeth and surrounding tissue with a soft-bristled brush at least twice a day can help.
Dry-Mouth: An annoyance for many pregnant women is dry-mouth or that “cotton-ball mouth” feeling. During pregnancy some women experience a decrease in their saliva production, so it becomes increasingly important to drink water and/or chew sugarless gum to help produce more saliva. As we know, saliva breaks down and washes away the bacteria in our mouth, so without it, pregnant women can be more prone to periodontal disease.
Regular Dental Visits Continue During Pregnancy
Remember that dental visits are not only safe during pregnancy, but highly recommended to ensure your health, and the health of your baby. For your comfort and care, our North York family dental team recommends coming in for a visit during the 2nd trimester to help navigate the pregnancy symptoms generally more frequent in the 1st and last trimesters.
If you have any other questions about dental care during pregnancy, we invite you to talk with our North York dental team today. Your oral health matters to us and we strive to ensure our patients create healthy and lifelong habits. We invite you to visit us in office at Lawrence Park Dental, or call us at 416.488.7454 to speak with our team of experts at any time. We’d love to help you address your dental questions and concerns. It’s our job to keep you smiling (even during pregnancy)… and we love it!