Oral hygiene is one of the most critical aspects of health often overlooked by expectant mothers. Oral care is crucial during pregnancy for both the mother and the baby. Studies have revealed that pregnancy can bring up uninvited dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease, which can affect the baby as well. This is because the increase in the hormones affects the mother’s body response to problems like oral plaque.
The researchers have also established a link between the gum problems in pregnant women and the premature birth of their babies. Now the problem with babies who are born prematurely is that they are susceptible to several health problems such as problems with eyesight and other diseases.
Dentists at Northern beaches advise that practicing proper oral hygiene throughout the pregnancy period is essential to avoid adverse effects on overall health.
Causes Of Dental Health Problems
There are some common reasons which lead to dental health problems in pregnant women. The major ones are discussed below:
The increase in hormones in pregnant women makes them vulnerable to gum problems such as:
- Gingivitis, i.e. inflammation and bleeding of gums
- Any type of periodontal disease that has remained untreated may become chronic
- Pregnancy epulis, i.e. enlargement of gums along with localized bleeding
The hormones during pregnancy are responsible for softening the ring of the muscle that keeps the food inside the stomach. This is why pregnant women face the problem of gastric reflux and vomit frequently. The stomach acid can damage the tooth enamel and increase the risks of plaque.
Pregnant women seem to have some unusual food cravings. Their regular cravings for sugary foods can lead to dental problems such as tooth decay.
Retching While Brushing Teeth
Pregnant women experience retching while brushing teeth. So many of them avoid brushing for this reason and develop dental health problems.
Healthy Dental Habits
Dental problems during pregnancy can be minimized by following and incorporating these simple steps in your daily routine:
- Dentists recommend that pregnant mothers should brush twice a day.
- Flossing your teeth and gum line can be beneficial.
- Use toothbrushes with extra soft bristles to gently brush the gum line.
- Clean your gums gently when they are bleeding.
- Avoid smoking during pregnancy. Smoking is responsible for several gum diseases.
- Visit the dentist for a regular dental checkup and teeth whitening services.
Protect Your Baby’s Teeth
Remember that your dental health will affect your baby’s dental health. Here are some important tips by which you can protect your baby’s oral health:
- If you have any untreated tooth decay or dental health problems, it’s high time that you get it fixed.
- Calcium is an important component that is required for dental health, breastfeeding, and strong bones. Ensure proper calcium intake every day.
- Develop healthy eating habits and try to avoid excessive sugary foods during pregnancy.
- Maintain proper dental hygiene by brushing teeth twice a day with a fluoride anti-cavity toothpaste.
Ask Your Dentist
You should make routine visits to the dentists during your pregnancy to avoid any sort of oral health problems. Most importantly, don’t forget to inform your dentist about your pregnancy. Your dentist will advise some routine checkups and make sure you do them accordingly.
Pregnancy brings a lot of changes to the health of a woman and her oral health is affected too. Change in hormones, and morning sickness are the two unavoidable symptoms every pregnant woman goes through. There are certain side effects of these symptoms which most of us tend to ignore. These are gum diseases, loosening of teeth, and tooth decay. Regularly floss and brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush so that your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout your pregnancy period. Never forget that your oral health largely impacts your baby’s dental future. So, practice healthy eating habits and visit your dentist regularly.