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Pregnancy and Oral Health - Maria Lalousi

29 Oct
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It might not be something that an expecting mother considers as part of looking after their health and wellbeing during pregnancy but oral health is highly-important to maintain. Hormonal changes during pregnancy not only affect your body physiologically and physically but they also affect your oral health. Your teeth, gums and mouth are additionally impacted.

The cravings for food, for example, may tend towards the sweet side which means an increase of sugar consumption and plaque upon your teeth. Therefore brushing and flossing regularly is highly-important throughout your pregnancy.

You might not think that morning sickness has anything more than bad breath in relation to oral health but it, in fact, does. Vomiting brings up highly acidic substances and this can cause damage to your teeth. Waiting a little while before you brush your teeth after a bout of morning sickness is optimum.

Pregnancy Gingivitis & Tumours

Gingivitis can occur for anyone but if you are pregnant, you can be more prone to this which is then known as Pregnancy Gingivitis. Symptoms include bleeding gums, swollen, red or tender gums, loose teeth and a discharge from your gums. Although it can be treated, pregnancy gingivitis can potentially weaken your teeth and gums and visiting the dentist should actually be a priority during pregnancy.

Additionally, there is the possibility of pregnancy tumours which is known is pyogenic granulomas and these are red and lumpy growths that can appear on the gums and between teeth. The good news is that once you have had your baby, they typically disappear, however visiting your dentist and obtaining sound advice to manage your oral health is integral.

Dental Disease: Can It Affect Your Baby?

Dental disease can actually affect your baby. Research has been conducted into the effects of dental issues such as pregnancy gingivitis and other dental disease and has found that gum disease can affect the baby’s weight upon birth and potentially mean a premature birth.

Research has also considered the periodontal disease (gum disease) and estimates that around eighteen out of every one hundred premature births have been impacted by this. Additionally, tooth decay can be common and is a bacterial infection which can affect your baby and increase their likelihood of cavities at a young age.

Visiting the Dentist

It is highly-important to visit the dentist regularly throughout your pregnancy and most treatments do not impact upon your baby. However, for treatments which require medication, this is a matter to be discussed carefully with your dentist.

Visit the dentist if you show signs of sore, swollen or red gums especially if they are bleeding. Additionally, if you have bad breath, it is wise to visit the dentist and see what the matter is and how it can be managed.

Oral Health and Pregnancy

Maintaining your oral health is highly-important during pregnancy and especially managing the cravings and morning sickness in relation to the impact upon your mouth, teeth and gums. What should you eat to manage oral health? Try to eat food from within the five food groups such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrain cereals, pasta and bread.

Furthermore, if eating meat, eat lean meat and chicken as well as fish and even tofu which is a healthy alternative to meat. Milk, yoghurt and cheese are good as well and essentially, it boils down to brushing and flossing regularly after meals.