Did you know that 60-75% of pregnant women get gingivitis?
Oral care is an extremely important part of prenatal care and should be highlighted to ensure it is not an area that is neglected. Evidence has shown that good oral health can positively impact your health and your child’s development, both during pregnancy and after birth. Some studies have shown that uncontrolled gum disease (Periodontitis) has been associated with pre-eclampsia causing pre-term low birth weight babies. (*Reference 1 below)
During pregnancy, a lot of changes are happening in the body which can impact your oral health. With so many changes happening, we know it is easy to neglect your oral health. It can be time-consuming, especially after a long day. However, please read on to see why this is not a good idea.
Why are pregnant women more susceptible to Gum Disease?
- Hormonal changes – during pregnancy there is a change in your hormones. Your body produces higher levels of estrogen and progesterone making your gums 3 times more sensitive to dental plaque. These hormonal changes can lead to gum problems. You may experience sensitive, inflamed or bleeding gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your dentist immediately and see what can be done to keep top oral health for the rest of your pregnancy.
- Morning Sickness – the acid in vomit can cause enamel erosion. If morning sickness is happening regularly and long-term, it can seriously affect your oral health. If you do vomit, we suggest you rinse your mouth out with water. However, wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth as your enamel will have softened due to the acid in the vomit.
How to care for my Oral Health During Pregnancy
Your dentist will also be able to give you advice on your oral hygiene while conceiving and during pregnancy.
We recommend the following during pregnancy:
- Brush your teeth twice a day. It is essential to keep your plaque under control, and brushing your teeth is the first step.
- Floss or use interdental brushes once a day.
- Ensure you are eating a balanced diet, and limit your sugar intake.
- See your dentist regularly. You may need more frequent cleaning during your pregnancy to reduce the level of bacteria in the mouth. If gingivitis is not treated, the bone that supports the teeth can be lost, and the gums can become infected. Treating the early stages of gum disease is so important before it leads to long-term health implications.
We know how important it is to look after yourself during pregnancy. Changes are made to your lifestyle to ensure the optimum health of your baby. So while you are making these changes, you need to make your oral health a top priority. If you have any questions in relation to your oral health during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
*Reference 1: JDR Clinical & Translational Research Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2018, Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy Outcomes: Overview of Systematic Reviews. L.A. Daalderop1 et al.