Every woman wishes to stay in good health during pregnancy and to take what ever steps are necessary to give their infant the healthiest start in life. And being pregnant, there are several factors in oral health that a woman may wish to pay particular attention to :
Cravings for food during pregnancy
It is often said and with a lot of truth that expecting mothers will get cravings or the urge to eat between meals. Often, sweet things or those high in carbohydrates will appeal the most. Unfortunately this not only leads to potential weight gain but increases the likelihood of tooth decay.
To summarize, bacteria in your mouth is called plaque. This bacteria converts any residual sugar or starch in your mouth into acid. It is the acid which then attacks the tooth enamel. Continued loss of a tooth’s enamel will result in tooth decay and the need for dental treatment such as fillings. In the worst scenario it can unfortunately lead to the loss of the affected tooth.
The recommendation is: if you need a snack because your cravings are too strong, try to eat foods that are nutritious for you and your baby. These include raw fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Try to avoid the worst like candy, sugary chocolate, confectionary, cookies and sodas.
A rise in hormone levels
During pregnancy, hormone levels in your body rise. Gum problems can occur such as gingivitis and is more common during the second to eighth months of pregnancy. Gingivitis may cause tender, red or puffy gums that bleed when brushing your teeth. Gingivitis is an over reaction or response to plaque caused by higher levels of the progesterone hormone in your system. If this occurs, please contact your dentist who will usually recommend more frequent cleanings at the dental office and an appointment with the hygienist.
Very occasionally overgrowths of gum tissue will appear on the gums during the second trimester. These localized growths or swellings are usually found between the teeth and are thought to be related to the build up of excess plaque. They bleed easily and your dentist will advise on suitable treatment to remove them after your baby is born.
Finally studies show that pregnant women who have severe periodontal (gum) disease may suffer an increased risk for pre-term delivery. It is therefore important to seek dental care should you have any concerns about your oral health. Pre-term delivery is rare but it does increase the risk of having a baby that is underweight at birth. It is therefore particularly important to maintain good oral health during pregnancy.
Call us today at our Lakewood dental office (214) 821-8639 or Schedule appointment – we look forward to seeing you.