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Dental Concerns During Pregnancy: Gum Changes and Oral Health Tips
General Obstetrics 

 

When envisioning pregnancy, dental concerns might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, the surge in hormones and changes in your daily habits can impact oral health in ways you might not anticipate. As an obstetrician, I’ve frequently counseled expectant mothers about the ripple effects of pregnancy on dental wellness. Let’s discuss the common gum changes that can occur and the proactive steps you can take to maintain optimal oral health.

Dental Concerns: What to Expect

  • Pregnancy Gingivitis: This condition is characterized by swollen, red, and bleeding gums, and it’s a result of hormonal changes that make your gums more susceptible to the effects of bacteria in plaque.
  • Tooth Erosion: Morning sickness, characterized by frequent vomiting, can lead to stomach acid making contact with teeth. This acid can erode dental enamel.
  • Dry Mouth: Some pregnant individuals may experience decreased saliva production, leading to dry mouth, which can further increase the risk of dental issues.
  • Loose Teeth: Elevated levels of progesterone and estrogen can affect the ligaments and bones that support your teeth, leading to a sensation of loose teeth.

Oral Health Tips During Pregnancy

  • Routine Dental Visits: Don’t skip your regular dental check-ups. These visits allow for early detection and treatment of potential issues.
  • Daily Oral Hygiene: Brush at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. This reduces plaque build-up, lowering the risk of gingivitis.
  • Rinse After Vomiting: If you experience morning sickness, avoid brushing immediately after vomiting. Instead, rinse your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash to neutralize the stomach acid.
  • Increase Calcium Intake: Calcium supports dental health. Incorporate calcium-rich foods like dairy products, tofu, almonds, and leafy greens into your diet.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink ample water throughout the day to combat dry mouth and keep your mouth rinsed, especially if you’re consuming sugary or acidic foods.
  • Gum Massage: If you notice swollen gums, gentle massage can help stimulate blood flow and alleviate swelling.
  • Limit Sugary Snacks: Pregnancy might lead to increased cravings, but try to limit sugary snacks, as they contribute to tooth decay.
  • Inform Your Dentist: Always let your dentist know about your pregnancy. This information helps them make informed decisions about treatments and x-rays.

Conclusion

Your body undergoes myriad changes during pregnancy, and your mouth is no exception. While these dental concerns might sound daunting, with attentive care and regular check-ups, you can navigate your pregnancy with a healthy smile. Remember, oral health is an integral component of overall well-being, and its importance is heightened during this transformative journey.

Every aspect of your health matters as you pave the way for a new life. If you have any queries or need further guidance, please don’t hesitate to connect. Together, we will ensure every facet of your health, including dental well-being, is taken care of.

 

You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 07 3188 5000.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.

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Consulting Rooms
Consulting Rooms

Greenslopes Obstetrics & Gynaecology is closely aligned with the Greenslopes Private Hospital which opened Brisbane’s newest maternity facility in February 2013.

To speak directly with a team member please call 07 3188 5000