Approximately 60 percent to 70 percent of women experience gum disease when pregnant. In such cases, you may be excited about whether you will have a boy or a girl and make your first prenatal appointment. Unfortunately, you may neglect dental appointments thinking keeping your teeth and gums healthy isn’t essential during pregnancy.
Hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy wreaks havoc on your oral health. As a result, you may soon fall victim to gum disease or pregnancy gingivitis if you leave your oral health unattended. This article reviews gum disease during pregnancy, discussing prevention and treatments available if you have developed the condition.
After brushing and flossing, if you notice sufficient blood besides pain and swelling, you might have pregnancy gingivitis. Your progesterone hormone levels tend to remain high during pregnancy. The increase in progesterone levels makes you susceptible to developing bacterial plaque that invades your gums. When you have pregnancy gingivitis, the condition is accompanied by swollen gums, bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath, et cetera. The second and the eighth month is when you can develop this problem. However, pregnancy gingivitis may peak during the third trimester. An increased risk of tooth decay and loose teeth also affects pregnant women.
The dentist in Wenatchee recommends scheduling regular cleanings during the second and third trimesters to evaluate your overall oral health.
Controlling your hormones is a challenge you might find overwhelming. However, you can undoubtedly take steps to protect your teeth and gums before and during pregnancy. Here are some tips to ensure you maintain oral health care in excellent condition.
Ensure that you brush your teeth twice a day without exceptions. You receive an extra barrier of protection if you use a toothpaste containing fluoride. Favor soft-bristled toothbrushes instead of other varieties because they won’t irritate your gums. Do not forget to floss your teeth at least once a day, regardless of when you do it. Flossing helps remove food particles and debris besides bacteria. If you develop consistent brushing and flossing habits, you may even reverse the early damage and inflammation caused to your teeth and gums by pregnancy gingivitis.
During your first trimester of pregnancy, you will likely not feel your best. However, you must try to have a diet balanced in whole foods by having fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains. Avoid choosing juices and sodas to remain hydrated, favoring water or milk instead. Stay away from sugary and starchy foods because the sugars and starches attack your teeth and gums.
Do not neglect regular appointments with your dentist to prevent pregnancy gingivitis from progressing to periodontal disease. You must have six-monthly results with your dentist twice a year, even when pregnant. Besides scheduling, inquire about additional appointments if necessary to help you monitor your health. Your dentist is the optimal professional to detect minor issues before they aggravate.
If you fail to succeed with preventive steps for gum disease or have already developed an advanced stage, your dentist may prescribe oral antibiotics to fight the bacterial infection. You can also find prescription mouthwashes for treating gum disease. Surgery is also an alternative in progressive cases.
Do not allow gum disease to progress in your mouth without keeping your dentist informed about your condition. The dentist may also request a list of all medications you take, including over-the-counter prescriptions for your pregnancy to avoid drug interactions.
Pregnancy gingivitis causes various complications in your mouth and may even affect your pregnancy. Periodontal disease, a progressive condition of gingivitis, can spread to the bone. If you have developed periodontal disease, your baby may be at an increased risk of premature birth or low birth weight. In addition, when left untreated, gingivitis eventually leads to tooth loss, making you a proud mom with a toothless grin.
Call your dentist soon as you notice any changes with your teeth and gums that you think need addressing immediately. The sooner you receive treatment for the condition from your dentist, the better it is for you and your pregnancy.
Instead of ignoring a preventable condition to put your teeth and your baby at risk while not keeping pregnancy gingivitis out of your way, why not visit Sunrise Dental of Wenatchee for regular exams and cleanings even during pregnancy?