Women who are expecting a baby undergo many changes in the body. Some of these can affect the state of their teeth and gums, requiring immediate dental care. Some of these changes may include:
- Morning sickness
A hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is responsible for balancing progesterone and estrogen levels during the first ten weeks of pregnancy. It is associated with early symptoms like morning sickness and nausea. Frequent vomiting can damage the state of a person’s teeth because regurgitated stomach acids eat tooth enamel, creating an increased risk of tooth decay.
Management: If you vomit, rinse your mouth with water. Avoid brushing teeth for about an hour to prevent scratching the tooth enamel.
- Increased risk for gingivitis
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the way our gums respond to bacterial plaque. These changes increase our chances of developing pregnancy gingivitis which, if untreated, can result in periodontal disease. Toxins released by infected gums create wounds in the oral cavity, allowing bacteria to travel through the bloodstream all the way to the placenta. This increases the possibility of delivering pre-term and low-birth-weight babies.
Management: Eat foods that contain plenty of Vitamin C and B12. Schedule an appointment with your dentist when you become pregnant so they can monitor your gum health.
- Increased cravings for sugary foods and snacks
Some women experience unusual cravings during pregnancy. Those who indulge in excessive amounts of sugary foods and snacks are more likely to develop cavities.
Management: Fruit contains natural sugars and fibre. Eat sweet, natural fruit instead of processed snacks. If you eat candy or sweets, drink plenty of water and brush your teeth to flush away bacteria-attracting debris.
During pregnancy, your body requires essential vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy and help your baby grow. Calcium is an important component to maintain teeth and bones, while Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Boost your consumption of these vitamins to protect oral health and strengthen your baby.
Nurture your body and your child with proper oral care during pregnancy. To keep your teeth and gums strong, brush and floss regularly. Another tip is to visit a qualified dentist who can provide appropriate dental care for expectant mothers.
At Simcoe Smile Dental, we provide dental health care to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout your pregnancy! Call us today for an appointment at (289) 312-1482.