As an expectant mother, your mind might be buzzing about preparations for the day the little one will arrive. However, self-care is crucial for the health of you and your child, and dental care is no exception. Here are a few ways pregnancy can affect teeth and gums, and how your dentist can help.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Teeth & Gums?
When you are pregnant, the body is flooded with hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, which can affect oral tissues. Some women experience an overgrowth of gum tissue during pregnancy, causing problems like an uneven gum line or even oral pregnancy tumors. Unfortunately, a far more common problem during pregnancy is gingivitis, since subtle changes in your body’s pH make it more difficult for you to fight off infections.
Pregnancy gingivitis is thought to affect as many as half of pregnant women, causing their gums to be inflamed and tender. Unfortunately, the oral bacteria that cause pregnancy gingivitis can seep into your bloodstream, and research has shown that these bacteria may be capable of crossing the placenta, where they can cause inflammation and pre-term labor.
How Can Your Dentist Help?
Because of these potential problems, the American Dental Association (ADA) strongly recommends regular dental care all throughout the prenatal period. In fact, the ADA states that most forms of dentistry, including preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry are safe during pregnancy.
Dentists can help by cleaning your teeth carefully to prevent gum disease and by treating existing dental problems, like cavities and oral infections. Although some symptoms, like oral pregnancy tumors, typically resolve on their own after you have your baby, dentists can offer some advice for minimizing symptoms.
Pregnancy is a special time in your life, so don’t complicate the situation by letting your teeth develop problems. To ward off difficulties and to keep your unborn child healthy, book an appointment with C.R. Sfeir D.D.S., General Dentistry in Lorain, OH. With a focus on efficient, friendly family care, this dentist and his team can help you to achieve optimal oral health. To learn more, visit them online or call (440) 960-5200.
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