When someone becomes pregnant, nearly every aspect of their life changes. From your sense of smell, to your diet, to your body, to how you spend your time, pregnancy begins a brand new chapter in every woman’s life. While most of us are familiar with how pregnancy impacts your physical appearance, have you ever wondered how pregnancy may affect different, less obvious parts of your body? Morning sickness is a common ailment for many pregnant women, but did you know it could be having a detrimental impact on your oral health? If you’re curious about how pregnancy may affect your mouth and how you can stay on top of your health, read on to discover more!
Pregnancy And Your Gums
Many women report experiencing tender, redder gums while pregnant, and it’s not uncommon for gums to bleed more readily while brushing or flossing. “Pregnancy gingivitis” is a condition that is commonly found in pregnant women. While the symptoms are the same as gingivitis, the cause is usually not due to neglect of one’s oral health needs. Elevated hormone levels—sometimes up to ten times as high as normal—are most frequently to blame for pregnancy gingivitis. Higher levels of progesterone can help to facilitate the growth of certain oral bacteria and your altered immune system may not be able to defend against these bacteria the way it usually would. Staying on top of your oral hygiene regimen is the best defense against pregnancy gingivitis. Brushing twice daily, flossing, and adding an antibacterial mouthwash will help you keep your mouth and gums happy. It’s also important to visit your dentist during your pregnancy to have him or her evaluate any changes in your gums and to give your teeth a deep cleaning.
Morning Sickness And Your Teeth
Nausea is never fun at any point in our lives, but when you’re dealing with all of the other aspects of pregnancy, it can be particularly burdensome. Unfortunately, keeping down breakfast isn’t the only thing to worry about when it comes to morning sickness. Women who experience severe morning sickness are at risk of enamel erosion and possible tooth decay due to the prolonged exposure of their teeth to stomach acid. If you find yourself throwing up, it’s important to remember not to brush your teeth immediately afterwards, as this abrasive act will only wear away your enamel further. Instead, rinse your mouth with a combination of baking soda and water to help neutralize the acids before you brush. If you find you’re throwing up regularly, consult your dentist to see what other steps you can take to protect your teeth.
Pregnancy is an exciting time full of new challenges and adventures. It’s easy for your mind to be consumed with thoughts of your baby, your future, and other aspects of your health, but it’s important to keep up with your oral hygiene as well.
If you’re worried about how pregnancy is impacting your health, or if you would like to schedule your pregnancy checkup with your dentist, give us a call at Metro Square Dental Associates in Vernon Hills today!