Keeping your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy have many benefits for you and your baby. Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy and some of these can affect the health of your gums and teeth. During pregnancy our hormones change. Fluctuating hormones can cause dental problems or make existing dental problems worse, like loose teeth, gum disease, pregnancy tumors on gums and tooth decay. The most common issue pregnant women experience is pregnancy gingivitis and it typically settles down after a mother gives birth.
To avoid irritated and inflamed gums from gingivitis, we recommend a solid routine of proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, flossing, and using a mouthwash.
While the gums are usually of biggest concern during a pregnancy, there are other potential issues that can arise. Some pregnant women often experience an increase in cavities. Tooth decay risks increase during pregnancy due to increased acidity in our mouths. The gastric acid that comes up with morning sickness is extremely acidic, which weakens the enamel, making a great environment for bacteria to thrive.
Another common cause of increased decay during pregnancy is the misinformation out there about not taking x-rays while pregnant. Dental x-rays are actually a very, very low dose of radiation (equivalent to standing outdoors in the sunlight), safe, and still necessary to detect cavities.
We highly recommend regular dental checkups during a pregnancy, especially if you are experiencing inflamed, red or bleeding gums. A thorough cleaning by a hygienist can help reduce the effects of gingivitis.
For more information on dental issues and dental health, give our office a call at 212-481-2535. We look forward to speaking with you.