Oral Care In Pregnancy
There are so many things to be concerned about when you find out you’re expecting. Eating right, taking enough vitamins, getting enough rest and so on. What about your teeth? Moms-to-be can become so focused on preparation for the new bundle of joy that they neglect their own health—remember that taking care of yourself is taking care of your baby! Oral health is considered an important part of prenatal care, given that poor oral health during pregnancy can lead to poor health outcomes for the mother and baby.
If you are pregnant, remain proactive about your oral hygiene routine and do not skip your regular dental visits. Your teeth and gums need special attention during this time, so be on the alert for symptoms like bleeding gums and dry mouth.
Gingivitis and Gum Disease During Pregnancy
Pregnancy may make women more prone to periodontal (gum) disease and cavities. Hormonal changes and diabetes during pregnancy can cause pregnancy gingivitis, i.e, inflamed, tender and irritated gums. Left untreated, gingivitis can become periodontitis, an even more severe form of gum disease that leads to actual bone loss. Older mothers have a higher risk of gum disease in general, and research has linked preterm delivery and low birth weight to gingivitis—sufferers were seven times more likely to have either or both conditions.
Acidity and Dry Mouth
Not every pregnant woman has morning sickness, but if you are one of the unlucky ones, keep in mind that along with nausea, stomach acid can make its way into the mouth and erode your teeth. Try rinsing your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash to help control the acidity level. This is not only a protective measure for your teeth but may help with nausea a bit as well.
Dry mouth during pregnancy can put pregnant women at higher risk for tooth decay and dental infections. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and chewing sugarless gum to enhance saliva production.
If you’re hungry a lot—which is not unheard of while pregnant—frequent snacking keeps teeth in constant contact with sugars. Bacteria feed on these sugars, speeding up acid production which creates more opportunities to weaken a pregnant mom’s tooth enamel. Be aware of your snacking habits and be sure to rinse your mouth frequently with water after eating or drinking.
Brushing at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing at least once each day will help to reduce the risk of dental infection in your new born baby. Good nutrition and balanced meals with limiting acidity and sugar have the most benefits for both Mom and baby.
Regular dental check-ups can help keep oral complications in check and enjoy a healthier pregnancy. Give us a call at +971 4 397 9522 to book an appointment with our expert team of dentists or click here