Did you know that pregnancy could affect your oral health? It’s true; hormonal fluctuations throughout pregnancy can place an expecting mother at a heightened risk for conditions like gum disease. This is because certain hormones increase blood circulation to soft tissues in the mouth, thus making them more susceptible to inflammation and possibly infection. We recommend that expecting mothers practice good oral hygiene, keep regular dental appointments, and eat a healthy diet low in sugary foods and drinks. If gum disease is present, our dentist provides treatments such as cleanings that improve gum health.
Gum Disease and Pregnancy
Pregnant women are very susceptible to gum disease. Although gum disease is common, it can progress into a very troubling and devastating condition. Advanced gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. This disease also destroys soft and hard oral tissues including bone. Since hormonal fluctuations lead to gingival inflammation, the gums can easily become infected – especially if a patient is not practicing proper oral hygiene.
The Importance of Correct Oral Hygiene
We strongly encourage all patients, especially expecting mothers, to adopt a thorough oral hygiene routine that includes at least twice daily brushing and nightly flossing. Patients should brush their teeth for about two to three minutes. Not only should the surfaces of teeth be brushed, the gums and tongue should be brushed as well. Flossing is just as important as brushing and is best done just before bed. Flossing helps disrupt colonies of bacteria that form along the gum line and cleans in between the crevices of teeth.
Why Regular Cleanings and Checkups are Necessary
Even if you are pregnant, receiving regular checkups and cleanings is important. During dental examinations, we will look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease and if potential problems are present, we will utilize treatment that is healthy for both babies and mothers to be. Cleanings are important as well since they help remove substances left behind by brushing and flossing. Professional cleanings gently scrape away tartar deposits (a major contributor of gum irritation and infection).
If you are expecting a child, we encourage you to let our team know so that we can best serve your needs. Call us today to schedule a checkup or cleaning with one of our skilled dentists.