Pregnancy comes with a lot of responsibilities which includes taking good care of your health as well as the health of your unborn child. An often neglected or overlooked aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy revolves around oral hygiene. Many people assume that dentist visits are best avoided during pregnancy or that teeth do not need any special attention or care during pregnancy. The reverse is in fact true. Your teeth and gums are twice as susceptible to decay and infection during pregnancy than in normal conditions. This is because the body undergoes a host of hormonal changes during pregnancy leading to increased risk of infection in the teeth, gum diseases, bleeding and other oral problems. Any kind of infection in the teeth or gums can directly affect the health of the unborn child and increase the risk of premature delivery. Gum diseases also increase the possibility of giving birth to child with low birth weight.
If you are pregnant, it is in your interest to know more about how pregnancy can increase the risk of developing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is in fact the medical term for bacterial infection in the mouth. Bacteria present in the mouth break down sugar in the food to produce acid, which can erode away the protective enamel coating on the tooth making it vulnerable to cavities and infections. This condition is also referred to as gingivitis and symptoms include bleeding and swelling in the gums. Pregnancy increases the risk of developing gingivitis mainly because hormonal changes during pregnancy create conditions for bacteria to grow which in turn increases the acid action on tooth enamel. Another reason why pregnant women are more susceptible to gingivitis is because acids released during morning sickness can also wear down the enamel coating on the teeth. It is important to treat gingivitis as soon as possible, especially during pregnancy. If left untreated, gingivitis can spread to other parts in the mouth increasing health risks for both the mother and the child.
Good dental care during pregnancy can eliminate unnecessary complications during and after pregnancy and allow you to give birth to a healthy baby the normal way. A few simple tips and tricks can help you keep your mouth in perfect order during pregnancy.
- The first thing to remember during pregnancy is that you should continue your routine dental visits. Dental visits are important during pregnancy in order to maintain oral health and you should take more care than normal to ensure you keep your regular scheduled appointments.
- Make sure you inform your dentist about your pregnancy. Also keep your dentist informed about the name and dosage of any medication including pre vitamins that you are currently taking. Also keep your doctor informed if you have any special pregnancy related condition so that he can take it into consideration while preparing your dental plan.
- Bear in mind that routine dental procedure like teeth cleaning or cavity filling can be safely done during pregnancy. In fact it is highly recommended that you take care of these during pregnancy to reduce the risk of gum and teeth infection.
- Routine X-rays can also be performed during pregnancy provided the abdomen and thyroid are properly covered with a leaded apron and collar respectively. There is, therefore, no reason, to delay those.
- You might be aware that your baby will start growing teeth sometime during the second trimester of pregnancy. It is important that you provide the baby with sufficient amount of calcium, proteins as well as vitamins, especially vitamins D, C and A. Sticking to a healthy diet that includes dairy products, yogurt and cheese will not only help you fight tooth decay but also provide essential nutrients to help the baby grow strong teeth and gums.
- It is normal to eat more during pregnancy but it is best to avoid frequent snacking as that is the most common cause of tooth decay. Also avoid sugary drinks and snacks as much as possible during pregnancy as they facilitate the growth of bacteria in the mouth.
- If you are suffering from morning sickness during your first trimester of pregnancy, chances are it might be getting aggravated when you brush your teeth. Many pregnant women put off brushing teeth in the morning due to morning sickness. Instead replace your normal toothpaste with one tastes bland to reduce chances of morning sickness.
- Rinse your mouth frequently with fluoridated mouth rinse, especially after a bout of vomiting. That will help prevent bacteria from growing in the mouth.
Above all practice good oral hygiene habits by brushing and flossing regularly. These seemingly simple tips can go a long way in keeping you as well your yet to be born, little bundle of joy, in good health.
Cumberland Dentistry always welcome new patients who are ready to receive best dental care from the dentist in Crossville and Monterey. We have a skilled and expert dental hygienist to make your visit as comfortable as possible and educate patients and pregnant women about importance of dental care during pregnancy to eliminate unnecessary complications. To serve our patients better, we also provide cosmetic and family dentistry at the Monterey dental center. To know more about the dental services offered by Cumberland Dentistry, visit http://www.cumberlanddentistry.com/services.html and to get insights into the insurance and payment activities you can have a quick look into http://www.cumberlanddentistry.com/insurance-and-payment.html. Feel free to contact us at 250-4329 or visit http://www.cumberlanddentistry.com/request-an-appointment.html, to get an appointment.