11 Apr Oral Health Advice for Pregnant Women
The pre-natal health of a mother has an impact on the health of their baby and this includes oral health.
During pregnancy the changing levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones, can affect your oral health. However, a ‘tooth for a child’ really is an old wives tale. There is no reason why appropriate self-care and a little professional help will not see you through pregnancy without any immediate or lasting oral health issues.
So here are some of the oral changes to lookout for during pregnancy:
- Gingivitis: The most common of all conditions where the gums appear red, swollen and bleed more readily. Pregnancy itself doesn’t cause the disease but rather exacerbates a pre-existing condition. The symptoms usually disappear after the pregnancy however for complete resolution you may require oral hygiene advice and hygiene treatment. Although it may seem a rather innocuous problem, there are some studies that show a link between gum disease, premature birth and low birth weight of the infant.
- Pregnancy Granuloma: Often worrying for those that experience this. It is a swelling that appears on the gums, around the 2nd or 3rd trimester usually as a result of dental plaque or trauma. It can bleeding easily and sometimes profusely if irritated but is seldom painful. It tends to resolve following pregnancy but can be removed if there is an aesthetic or diagnostic concern.
Other less common conditions include changes to tongue appearance, taste alteration and burning sensation of the tongue/mouth.
Apart from the oral conditions mentioned, pregnancy may also increase your risk of dental caries and erosion due to changes in your saliva’s ability to counteract harmful pH conditions in the mouth. So to reduce the risk, avoid those sweet snacks when you get the urge and replace for a healthier one.
If you suffer from morning sickness or acid reflux, then after an episode, drink milk (not only will this counteract the acid but also help with the calcium demands), rinse with water or fluoride mouthwash but always wait for 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
Finally, we recommend you see your dentist and dental hygienist regularly during pregnancy to ensure a healthy mouth and healthy smile, especially for all those mother and baby photos to follow.
At Heaton Moor Dental, we now offer direct access to our hygienist without registering as a patient. However we do recommend you see a dentist regularly for a full check up.
Looking forward to seeing you all, and of course expecting mothers to be, at Heaton Moor Dental
Dr Vab & Dr Bal