COMMON ORAL CONDITIONS DURING PREGNANCY
You may experience some changes in your oral health during pregnancy. The primary changes are due to a surge in hormones particularly an increase in oestrogen and progesterone, which can exaggerate the way gum tissues react to plaque, like swollen and bleeding gums.
PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS – An increased inflammatory response to dental plaque during pregnancy causes the gingivae to swell and bleed more easily in most women.
TOOTH MOBILITY – Ligaments and bone that support the teeth may temporarily loosen during pregnancy, which results in increased tooth mobility. There is normally not any tooth loss unless other complications are present.
DENTAL CARIES – Pregnancy may result in dental caries due to the increased acidity in the mouth, greater intake of sugary snacks and drinks secondary to pregnancy cravings, and decreased attention to prenatal oral health maintenance.
PERIODONTITIS – Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, an inflammatory response in which a film of bacteria, known as plaque, adheres to teeth and releases bacterial toxins that create pockets of destructive infection in the gums and bones. The teeth may loosen, the bone may be lost, and a bacteremia may result.
TOOTH EROSION – Erosion of tooth enamel may be more common because of increased exposure to gastric acid from vomiting secondary to morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, or gastric reflux during late pregnancy.
BENIGN ORAL GINGIVAL LESIONS – (known as pyogenic granuloma, granuloma gravidarum or epulis of pregnancy).
SUGGESTIONS FOR ADDRESSING YOUR PREGNANCY AND DENTAL WORK NEEDS
It is recommended that pregnant women eat a balanced diet
Brush their teeth thoroughly with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and floss daily.
Have preventive exams and cleanings during your pregnancy
Let your dentist know you are pregnant.
Postpone non-emergency dental work until the second trimester or after delivery, if possible.
Elective procedures should be postponed until after the delivery.
Maintain healthy circulation by keeping your legs uncrossed while you sit in the dentist’s chair.
Take a pillow to help keep you and the baby more comfortable. Bring headphones and some favorite music.
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