PREGNANCY AND YOUR DENTAL HEALTH
Pregnancy is a time when changes are taking place throughout your body. Not only the obvious changes to the size of your waist, but hormonal changes which can have wide ranging effects. The hormonal changes which occur during pregnancy can affect your oral health. Particularly that of your gums.
The gums (gingiva) become more susceptible to inflammation and infections. The gums can swell and become red and puffy. They may bleed and be sensitive. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnancy epulis are small red lump “growths” that may occur along the gums and between the teeth. These will usually resolve after the birth of the baby.
It is important to maintain your routine home care (brushing and flossing) and routine dental examinations & professional cleanings to enable assessment and management of these changes. In some events, more frequent professional cleaning may be recommended. When you are brushing your teeth, you may notice increased bleeding. It is important that you do not allow this to affect your routine.
Morning sickness may cause vomiting, which will bathe your teeth in acid. This can make your teeth sensitive and more prone to decay. It is important to not brush immediately after vomiting as this is when teeth are at their weakest. Rather, it is best to wait at least 1 hour before brushing. Additionally, chewing sugar free gum, rinsing with tap water or having some sort of dairy product to neutralise the acid also helps prevent dental decay.
Cravings are another common occurrence during pregnancy. Be aware of the potential tooth damage (decay) that may be caused by sweet cravings. Where possible, choose yoghurts & fresh fruit and remember to brush regularly with a fluoridated toothpaste.
Do not be fearful of continuing with routine dental appointments or attending to dental emergencies during your pregnancy. Dental treatment is safest during the mid-trimester. Dental radiographs (X-rays) are safe and an accurately diagnosed problem is better able to be treated.
If you are planning to become pregnant, or are trying to, attend to your dental health first. A healthy mouth is art of a healthy baby. Heathy mouths are linked to healthy birth weight babies and the oral health of your child.
On topic, CONGRATULATIONS to our dental assistant Phuong (and her husband- Joey). They are eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child in June.
And as always, if you need to make an appointment, please feel feel to call us on 03 9551 4599 or book an appointment here.