From the moment that positive sign appears on the pregnancy test, life is about to get much more exciting. Expecting a baby might bring a rollercoaster of emotions, and it’s perfectly normal to start preparing for your new arrival early in your pregnancy. From creating a registry to keeping up with visits to your doctor, the weeks seem to fill up quickly. But among all the excitement, don’t forget to add one more thing to your pre-baby to-do list: a dental checkup! Keeping up with your oral health is especially important in pregnancy. Read on to discover how pregnancy can impact your teeth, and learn what you can do to keep your teeth in tip-top shape while growing your bundle of joy.
Why Your Teeth Need Extra Care During Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant, it’s no surprise that pregnancy hormones cause plenty of changes in your body. From morning sickness to food aversions, hormones can throw your body for a loop. But did you know that hormonal changes can also affect your teeth?
The hormone increase that occurs during pregnancy can make you more vulnerable to certain dental issues. That’s why keeping up with regular dental cleanings and exams during your pregnancy is an important part of making sure that your teeth and gums are healthy.
When it comes to your oral health, pregnancy can also worsen existing conditions or create new ones. Here are a few dental conditions to be aware of during your pregnancy:
Some women may experience pregnancy tumors, or overgrowths of tissue that may appear on the gum tissue. These growths usually appear in the second trimester of your pregnancy. While they may be uncomfortable, they shouldn’t cause pain and will go away after your baby is born. However, be sure to contact your general dentist if they are causing you pain or concern.
As if managing morning sickness isn’t difficult enough, this notorious pregnancy symptom may also damage your teeth. Along with a more sensitive gag reflex and gum tenderness, morning sickness and nausea can make it difficult to maintain your usual at-home good oral hygiene routine. You’re more susceptible to tooth decay and dental cavities when you’re unable to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.
Gingivitis during pregnancy is so common that it even has its own name! Gum tissue is very sensitive to the changes in your hormones during pregnancy, making them more vulnerable to gum disease. The symptoms include swelling, bleeding, tenderness, and inflammation of the gum tissue. Your general dentist will suggest ways to treat pregnancy gingivitis at your regular cleanings, and this condition usually resolves on its own once your baby arrives.
How to Protect Your Teeth During Pregnancy
The best way for you to keep your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy is to practice good at-home oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing every day, and visiting your general dentist at least once during your pregnancy for a dental cleaning and an exam.
Remember, your body will experience lots of changes during pregnancy –– even your teeth! Give yourself plenty of grace as your body changes, and be sure to consult your general dentist with any concerns.
Our team at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado is here to help restore your smile during every stage of life, including pregnancy. With offices in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, convenient health care is just a phone call away. Contact our office today to schedule your evaluation and find out how we can help give you a healthy, beautiful smile!