Your oral health plays a big part in your overall health. Not only can poor oral care impact other aspects of your health, but certain oral health symptoms can indicate a wider condition that needs diagnosing. Because of this, maintaining proper oral care during pregnancy is essential. This article will explore how the two are linked to help you ensure good health for you and your baby.
Pregnancy and gum disease
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a surprisingly prevalent condition, affecting almost 50% of adults aged 30 years or over in the US. Gum disease comes with lots of side effects on its own. But in pregnant women, it can lead to consequences for the baby, too. Pregnant women with gum disease are more likely to go into pre-term labor, leading to babies that are premature and underweight. And the worse the periodontal condition, the more likely this is.
Gum problems can become even more prevalent during pregnancy during hormonal changes, so it’s more important than ever to maintain a good oral hygiene routine.
Dry mouth during pregnancy
Hormonal changes can also cause dry mouth, or xerostomia, during pregnancy, which in turn worsens tooth decay and gum problems. One of the main roles of saliva is to wash away bacteria and food debris from your teeth and gums. With dry mouth, there may not be enough saliva to do this effectively.
Drinking plenty of water will help with this symptom, as will chewing gum or sucking on candy to stimulate the production of saliva. Just make sure you opt for sugar-free candy or gum to continue looking after your teeth. Sucking ice can also help to relieve both dry mouth and nausea symptoms.
Morning sickness and oral health
Nausea and vomiting from morning sickness are extremely common symptoms during the first few months of pregnancy. As well as the unpleasantness of morning sickness, vomiting also leaves acid on your teeth that will cause decay. After being sick, make sure you rinse your mouth out with water to wash away some of this acid. You shouldn’t brush your teeth right away after vomiting as this can weaken the enamel. Wait around 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, but you may want to use a mouthwash during this time.
Maintaining oral care during pregnancy
You don’t need to change up your oral care routine, you just need to be vigilant about keeping it up and responding to any symptoms you experience. Keep brushing and flossing twice a day, drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth, avoid foods high in sugar, and keep visiting your dentist for regular check-ups.
If you’re pregnant and need oral health advice or a dental check-up, then contact Advance Family Dentists for pain-free dentistry in Bermuda Run, NC.