When you’re pregnant, you no doubt have a long list of things to take care of, so it’s natural that you may not give too much thought to your oral health.
The problem is that the changes in your body due to pregnancy can also cause issues with your oral health if you’re not careful, so it’s important to consider those potential problems.
At Smile Design Manhattan, in the Midtown West neighborhood of New York City, our oral health care team takes pride in providing the best dental care possible to pregnant women. Here are a few things you should know about pregnancy and oral health.
The hormones your body produces to facilitate your pregnancy (progesterone and estrogen) can also increase the risk of gum problems. Studies show 60%-75% of pregnant women develop gingivitis, an infection that causes swelling of the gums and bleeding.
Left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, a serious infection of the gums and the bones that support your teeth. This advanced form of gum disease can cause teeth to loosen, and they may eventually need to be pulled.
Infection that isn’t treated can enter your bloodstream and lead to many health complications.
Vomiting and gastric reflux often accompany pregnancy, with each episode covering your teeth with strong stomach acids. These acids can damage the enamel that covers your teeth and lead to tooth decay.
Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting — doing so can scratch the enamel. Rinse your mouth with water and mouthwash and brush your teeth an hour later.
Pregnancy can increase your food cravings. If you find yourself longing for sugary foods more often, avoid them as much as possible and snack on foods lower in sugar to protect your teeth from increased risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Soothe your cravings for sweets with fruit, which is much healthier for you. And when you do have sugary snacks, brush your teeth or use mouthwash afterward as soon as you can.
A great way to help keep the above issues at bay is to practice good oral hygiene — brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day — and visit our office regularly so we can clean your teeth and check for any problems.
If you’re pregnant and concerned about your oral health or would like more guidance, call the Smile Design Manhattan office today to set up a visit or book your appointment online.