During pregnancy, you and your baby share a unique connection. Your overall health, including the health of your teeth and gums, can impact the health of your unborn child.
Dental Health and Pregnancy
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), hormone changes during pregnancy can lead to increased oral sensitivity, pregnancy gingivitis, and, in some cases, pregnancy tumors (benign growths or swellings) on your gums. These tumors normally disappear after your baby is born.
If you already have gum disease and become pregnant, studies show it may be a factor for pre-term, low-birth-weight babies. Also, research indicates cavity-causing bacteria in your body may be passed on to your child.
This all means it’s very important to take good care of your teeth before, during and after pregnancy.
Care for Your Teeth and Gums During Pregnancy
1. Schedule a routine dental exam before you try to get pregnant.
If you are trying to conceive, it’s a good idea to schedule a routine dental exam to minimize the risk of dental problems or emergencies during pregnancy.
2. Brush your teeth daily.
Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice per day and floss once per day. Get a new toothbrush every 3-4 months, or more often if it becomes worn or frayed. Do not share your toothbrush.
3. Rinse your mouth if you suffer from morning sickness.
When you vomit, the acid from your stomach can attack the enamel on your teeth. If you vomit during your pregnancy (or at any other time), prepare a mixture of 1 teaspoon of baking soda per 8-ounce cup of water. Use it to rinse out your mouth after each time you throw up.
4. See your dentist for routine care or if you notice changes in your mouth.
Although you should postpone elective dental procedures during pregnancy, routine dental care is very important. Also, if you notice any changes in your mouth or with your teeth and gums, contact your dentist right away.
If you don’t have a family dentist, Mercy Dental Services can help! Learn more about the services we offer or call 330-471-5950 to schedule an appointment.
Do You Know Fact from Fiction?
People may inadvertently share misinformation about dental health during pregnancy. Take this ADA quiz to see if you know fact from fiction!