We know it’a awful dealing with bleeding gums during pregnancy. But there is so much more to protecting your mouth in order to protect your baby. Today we have Dr. Amanda Tavoularis from Dentably.com to help us prevent issues during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life. You will be busy with ultrasounds and checkups and preparing everything at home to bring a new life into the world. This is all extremely exciting, but during this time it’s important that you remain as healthy as possible for yourself and for your baby.
Dental health may not be on the forefront of your mind but, up to 70% of women develop inflammation of gums, or gingivitis during their pregnancy. This is often referred to as pregnancy gingivitis and happens because of a change in hormone levels.
It’s important to be aware of this because gum disease can result in premature births. In fact, 18 out of 100 premature births are believed to be caused by gum or periodontal disease. This is why it’s important to take care of your gums to help prevent this disease.
I have been practicing dentistry for nearly 20 years and have worked with expecting mothers on keeping their mouth as healthy as possible so that they can safely carry their baby to term.
Dental Care Routine
In order to help prevent gum disease, you should continue an effective dental care routine during your pregnancy. Good dental hygiene consists of brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and using an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Be sure to implement a routine for yourself if you haven’t already.
Another important way to keep your mouth healthy during this special time is to avoid sugary foods. While you may experience cravings during your pregnancy, eating foods high in sugar can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, so enjoy your sweets in moderation and always clean your teeth afterwards.
You can help avoid tooth decay and gum disease by working towards maintaining a well-balanced diet and incorporating more vegetables, lean proteins, and nuts and seeds into your diet while you are pregnant.
Another way to work towards preventing gum disease while pregnant is to continue visiting your dentist regularly. Professional dental cleanings are more important during your pregnancy and are essential in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. If you are due for cleaning during your pregnancy, don’t skip it.
You should also ask your dentist for an evaluation of your periodontal health. That way they can uncover any issues that you may have with your gums and you can work together to decrease your chances of delivering your baby preterm. Let your dentist know that you are expecting, and they will be able to accommodate you and your baby’s needs.
If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease or believe that you may have it, it is important to seek treatment quickly to prevent delivering your child preterm. Gum disease is a serious condition that can worsen quickly.
Plus, the bacteria from it can attack the ligaments, gums, and bones surrounding your teeth to create infected pockets similar to large infected wounds in the oral cavity. These pockets can also provide access to your bloodstream and allow bacteria to travel throughout your body, down to the uterus and placenta.
Visiting your regular dentist is the best way to treat gingivitis or gum disease. However, please note that most doctors recommend waiting until your second trimester before taking on any dental procedures. When you schedule an appointment for treatment, your dentist will give you a deep cleaning to help get rid of plaque and build-up that’s contributing to the disease.
If your gum disease worsens your dentist or doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help combat the infection. In the most severe cases, you may need to have a procedure done to help remove the bacteria. Be sure to talk with your dentist and doctor about the safest method for you to combat your gingivitis. Your doctor will know which medications are safe for you during your pregnancy but be sure to let them know of any allergies that you have.
Becoming pregnant is special and you should cherish this time in your life. Deciding to grow your family is a beautiful choice and you’re probably busy preparing for your new baby. It’s also important that you are healthy as you can be during this time.
Premature births are more common in mother’s with poor dental health, so it’s important that you take precautionary measures to make sure that your mouth is as healthy as possible for you and your baby.
A good dental care routine, regular dental visits, and seeking treatment are some of the best ways to help prevent gum disease and preterm birth. This is a wonderful and special time in your life and embrace the amazing changes happening to your body.
You are growing a human so it’s always important to prioritize you and your baby’s health as you wait to welcome your new little one.