You take particular care of your body when you are pregnant, by cutting down on lot of unhealthy food and exercising regularly. You may not realize but taking care of your oral health is equally important when you are pregnant.
It is common to have dental problems during pregnancy. Studies suggest that around 40% of women have cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis. If they are not treated at proper time then the conditions can worsen.
Know more why dental problems are common during pregnancy and what precautions you can take to cure them or treat them.
Pregnancy gingivitis is a very common dental issue during pregnancy. It causes tender, red and swollen gums that bleed. Few women could also develop a mild tumor in their mouth which can be removed or it gets dissolved on its own after delivery.
The increase in the hormone progesterone causes pregnancy gingivitis. This happens because the hormone gives exaggerated response to the plaque that is already present in the mouth.
Even if you brush or floss regularly, pregnancy gingivitis might occur. If it is not treated on time, it can lead to periodontal disease. This further increases the risk for having a low birth weight baby.
You are more likely to have dental problems during pregnancy, if you have a history of periodontal disease.
Here is what you can do to avoid dental issues during pregnancy:
1. Eat healthy
It is always advisable to eat healthy when you are pregnant. This not only is good for your health but also for the child’s health. To take care of your oral health, try to avoid coffee, soda and sticky foods. Instead eat fiber filled fruits and vegetables.
2. Brush and floss regularly
The best way to keep your gums healthy is by brushing twice a day and flossing atleast once a day. To remove bacteria you can also use a tongue scraper and alcohol free rinse.
3. Visit your dentist
It is necessary to visit a dentist at least two times a year to take care of your oral health. If you are pregnant or undergoing infertility treatment then it is recommended to see a dentist and check your oral health.
4. Chew gum and drink lot of water
The greatest natural defense mechanism that a human body has is saliva. Chewing a sugar free gum with xylitol can increase the flow of saliva which neutralizes plaque acids, washes away food debris and keeps bacteria away. Drinking a glass of water after meals can also help.
5. Get cleanings every 6 months
Having routine dental care during pregnancy and doing dental cleanings every 6 months are the best ways to defend your oral hygiene. But if you have a history of periodontal disease or gingivitis then it is recommended to see the dentist frequently for cleanings.
6. Treat infections
A dental infection can lead to pre-term birth, pre-eclampsia, developmental delays and even miscarriage. So always treat your infections before it becomes complicated. Dental x-rays are also safe since most of the dentists now use digital x-rays which have 10-20% of the previous amount of radiation.