Pregnancy and Oral Health: What to Watch For
As many women know, pregnancy affects the entire body. The surge of hormones during pregnancy can affect oral health, too.
The increase of the pregnancy hormone progesterone may encourage the growth of the bacteria that cause gingivitis in the mouth. Around the second month of pregnancy, some women will start to notice symptoms, such as gums that are swollen, redder than normal and bleed more easily during brushing. Symptoms will usually start to subside after the baby is born.
Enamel erosion is also common in women who have vomiting due to morning sickness. Frequent vomiting can quickly lead to erosion of the teeth. If you are experiencing morning sickness, don’t brush immediately after vomiting. Vomit is highly acidic and will leave the enamel of your teeth susceptible to damage, even from gently brushing. Instead, rinse your month out with water and then brush 20-30 minutes later.
Pregnancy can also cause dry mouth. If this happens to you, drink plenty of water to help flush away bacteria growing in the mouth that would typically be cleared away by saliva.
It is extremely important to maintain oral hygiene during pregnancy. This includes the typical routine of brushing for two full minutes twice daily, flossing daily and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, make sure to see your dentist regularly and be sure to tell them the current stage of your pregnancy.