You are pregnant. Congratulations! Cue the confusion and sometimes debilitating sense of being overwhelmed. What to do and what not to do during your pregnancy? That is the question. While there are many don’ts (i.e. drinking alcohol and smoking), there is one do that stands out for dental professionals while being overlooked by pregnant women: oral hygiene. Not only will your hormonal changes affect your emotions, weight, hair, skin and body shape, they can affect the gingivae (also known as gums).
Did you know that a woman is more likely to develop gingivitis during pregnancy? Yup, it’s sad, but true. Who wants to deal with swollen and tender gums that might bleed when you brush and/or floss your teeth? You have more important things to worry about! Don’t be alarmed if you look in the mirror one day and notice lumps along your gum line and in between your teeth. The growths are referred to as pregnancy tumors, which are harmless swellings that are definitely NOT cancerous. Go ahead. You can breathe now. Swollen gums are caused by those lovely hormonal changes happening as another human being is growing inside you. Yay for pregnancy side effects!
For those of you unfortunate souls suffering through the dreaded morning sickness, first off, I am sorry. Having never been pregnant myself, I feel for you. Throwing up during your first trimester is so much fun! (Not.) Morning sickness leads to stomach acid ending up in your mouth from all the vomiting. Acid in the mouth over time breaks down tooth enamel. When the outer hard layer (enamel) of a tooth breaks down, you end up with tooth decay. Extreme tooth decay leads to tooth loss. I am pretty sure that nobody wants to lose their teeth while working very hard to grow a healthy baby inside of them. Am I right, ladies? Make sure you are rinsing your mouth out (if not brushing) if you are throwing up from morning sickness. You need to get as much of that acid out of the oral cavity as possible.
After having three children, Dr. Jessica T. Emery of Chicago’s Sugar Fix Dental Loft can certainly attest to the chemical changes that occur within your body during pregnancy. If you find yourself with loose teeth, mouth sores, red or purple gums, bleeding gums, bad breath or toothache, call Dr. Emery. She is more than happy to schedule a time for you to come in and have her take a look at what’s going on. Regular teeth cleanings are key during your pregnancy! Gotta keep those gums in tip top shape.
Contact Dr. Emery at Sugar Fix Dental Loft today to ensure that your dental health is off the charts (in a good way) while pregnant. A healthy mother means a healthy baby.