During pregnancy, your calendar can fill up pretty quickly. From ob-gyn appointments to childbirth classes, it may seem impossible to fit one more thing into your schedule. But, if you’re a mom-to-be, visiting your nearby dentist should definitely be on your to-do list. If you are expecting, schedule a consultation with Dr. Luminita Markham at Maidu Dental. She can recommend preventative treatments to keep your teeth and gums healthy during this very exciting time.
Why is Dental Care during Pregnancy Important?
According to a 2015 study from Delta Dental, nearly 43 percent of women avoid going to the dentist when they’re pregnant. While it’s understandable that oral health may not be at the forefront of your mind during this transformative time in your life, keeping your teeth healthy during pregnancy is extremely important. After all, your baby’s teeth start developing between the third and sixth month of pregnancy. So, the better you take care of yourself, the healthier your baby will be.
Dental Issues to Expect When You’re Expecting
It’s no secret that considerable changes take place in a woman’s body during pregnancy. These changes affect virtually every aspect of the body, including your mouth. Here are some of the most common dental issues that arise when you’re pregnant:
- Gingivitis—Hormonal changes can alter your body’s response to bacteria in the mouth. Otherwise known as inflammation of the gums, pregnant women are more likely to develop gingivitis.
- Periodontitis—An estimated 40 percent of pregnant women develop periodontitis during pregnancy according to recent studies. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to the erosion of the alveolar bone around the teeth, resulting in subsequent tooth loss.
- Cavities—Due in part to an increase in calorie intake from pregnancy cravings, pregnant women are more susceptible to getting cavities. Enamel erosion—and in cases where morning sickness is causing you to vomit more frequently, the increased acidity in your mouth can start to erode your tooth enamel, and lead to possible tooth decay.
- Gum Tumors—If round lumps begin to form along your gum line, you can attribute the overgrowth to hormonal changes or plaque buildup. While rare, these tumors typically develop during a pregnant woman’s second trimester. Luckily, these tumors are completely benign, and typically subside after you give birth.
How to Maintain Good Dental Hygiene
In addition to frequent dentist visits, here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure good oral health:
- Make sure all of your equipment, including your toothbrush, are clean.
- Use a toothbrush with ultra-soft bristles as your gums may be more sensitive.
- Brush your teeth two-to-three times per day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss gently at least once per day to remove the excess plaque from between your teeth.
- If you experience morning sickness or nausea, rinse your mouth repeatedly with water and a spoon of baking powder.
- Limit your sugar intake as much as possible and try to avoid foods and drinks like sodas, candies, and ice cream.
- Eat a more calcium-rich diet, especially if your gums are tender.
- Whole-grain products, fruits, and vegetables are also key since they’re packed with nutrients and have less impact on your teeth.
Make an appointment today!
Just like prenatal doctor appointments are a must, it’s also important to make time to visit your nearby dentist. At Maidu Dental, we treat patients from all walks of life, including expecting mothers. Our team is prepared to discuss any and all changes in your oral health during pregnancy. We’re committed to keeping your mouth in the best condition possible during this wonderful time. So be sure to contact us online or call 530-507-8989 to schedule your appointment today!