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Oral Health Concerns While Pregnant

It’s common for pregnancy to lead to dental health issues for women, especially if they had poor oral health, to begin with. If you’re pregnant, you’ll have a higher risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. While pregnancy won’t automatically damage your teeth, there are several factors to be aware of that will impact your oral health. Here are a few ways you can maintain your teeth over the next nine months.

Dental Disease can Affect the Baby

Studies have shown that a link is present between gum disease during pregnancy and premature birth with low birth weight. Premature babies are at risk of a wide range of health conditions, some of which include cerebral palsy, problems with hearing and vision impairment. It’s been estimated that about 18 out of every 100 premature births were possibly triggered by gum disease, so treating this infection early on may lower the risks to both mother and baby.

Dental Health Before Pregnancy

The healthier your teeth and gums are before becoming pregnant, the less likely you’ll experience dental issues during your pregnancy. To make sure you have good oral hygiene, brush and floss your teeth twice a day, eat a healthy diet and visit your dentist regularly. If you’re planning on becoming pregnant in the near future, see your dentist if you’re also planning on having a few dental treatments done. Once you’re pregnant, non-urgent dental procedures should only be performed once you’ve passed the first trimester.

If You’re Pregnant, Tell Your Dentist

Your pregnancy can affect your dental care, so tell your dentist at the beginning of your appointment, even if you aren’t 100% sure. If you’re scheduled to have x-rays taken, something you need to avoid while pregnant, then your dentist needs to take proper precautions if the treatment is necessary and can’t wait. For any procedures that come up and require medications or anesthesia, your dentist needs to be aware of your condition for the safety of the baby.

Common Dental Issues During Pregnancy

Common dental health problems throughout pregnancy can include gum disease, vomiting and sugary food cravings. The hormones that arise during pregnancy can leave women vulnerable to gingivitis, periodontal disease and an enlargement of the gums that cause bleeding known as pyogenic granuloma.

With pregnancy comes morning sickness, something many women can’t avoid. As stomach acids enter the mouth due to repeated vomiting, it can damage your tooth enamel and increase your risk of decay. To remedy this, simply rinse your mouth out with tap water afterwards. Don’t brush your teeth immediately after vomiting, as this increases your chances of scraping more enamel from your teeth. Lastly, if you have sugar cravings, which will increase your risk of tooth decay, rinse your mouth out with water, alcohol-free mouthwash or brush your teeth immediately after eating the sugary treat.

At Maple Ridge’s Lumina Dental, our highly trained dentists provide services include cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, dentures, restorative dentistry and urgent care. To book an appointment with our Maple Ridge dentists, give us a call or visit our website.