Pregnancy and Oral Health Care
There’s a lot of misconceptions when it comes to oral health status while being pregnant. One of which is the saying, “you’ll lose one tooth in whenever you get pregnant”. It Is true if your oral hygiene isn’t a priority whether you’re pregnant or not, but it doesn’t mean you’ll literally lose one tooth just because you got pregnant.
The real reason why you need to prioritize your oral hygiene is because of changes in your hormones while you’re pregnant and morning sickness that has an adverse effect in your teeth.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums wherein the gums appear to be very red, swollen, and bleeding. Gingivitis occurs when plaque buildup in your teeth especially near the gum line. It is the body’s response to be inflamed whenever there is a foreign body invading the tissues or area.
During pregnancy, women’s body is in hormonal hyperactive state. An increase in estrogen and progesterone will increase blood flow in the gums causing it to “overreact” to anything that irritates the gums such as bacteria and plaque. This irritation will cause the gums to be swollen.
If left untreated, gum disease can progress even after giving birth which can lead to bone loss and eventually tooth loss.
Aside from gingivitis, another oral health problem is morning sickness or vomiting during pregnancy. Vomit is highly acidic, but high acidity in the mouth is undesirable. High acid level in the mouth can cause the enamel, outer hard layer of the tooth, to soften which will allow bacteria to invade the tooth more easily causing tooth decay.
Proper Oral Health Care During Pregnancy
Oral hygiene care should be a priority during pregnancy. Visiting your dentist regularly while pregnant is a must. Contrary to popular belief that you can’t have dental treatments while pregnant, teeth cleaning and X-rays are safe during pregnancy. You just need to inform your dentist that you’re pregnant so the dentist will take precautionary actions needed for pregnant patients.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the second trimester is often the ideal time to have minor dental work performed, such as having a cavity filled, or a professional cleaning, if needed.
After morning sickness, you may want to drink a lot of water first and toothbrush after an hour to lower the acidity of the mouth. Toothbrushing right after you vomit may tend to scrub of softened tooth structures more.
Remember to keep on top of cleaning your teeth by brushing 2-3 times a day and flossing once a day because taking care of your teeth is essential in making yourself health and the baby as well.