When you're pregnant, your body goes through a lot of changes. Some of those changes occur inside your mouth, which makes it even more important that you continue with proper oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy. The hormone changes that are taking place in your body make your mouth susceptible to problems that can affect your teeth and gums. To protect your teeth and prevent dental problems you should see your dentist for routine checkups during your pregnancy. Here are three ways that pregnancy can affect your mouth.
Tooth Erosion Due to Stomach Acid
Morning sickness is a common occurrence during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester when hormones are fluctuating. Morning sickness comes with an increase in vomiting, which increases the amount of stomach acid that your teeth come in contact with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, stomach acid can cause tooth erosion, in which the enamel on your teeth can be eaten away.
If you have morning sickness, don't brush your teeth as soon as you vomit. Instead, neutralize the stomach acid with a baking soda and water mouth rinse. Simply place a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and rinse your mouth with the solution. Repeat the application each time you vomit to provide maximum protection for your teeth.
Increased Risk of Gingivitis
While you're pregnant, the increased hormones in your body can make your gums swell. When that happens, the spaces between your teeth can expand, providing additional hiding places for food and bacteria. As a result, the risk of developing gingivitis increases while you're pregnant. You can reduce the chances of developing pregnancy-related gingivitis by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing after every meal. If you notice bleeding around your gums, especially after brushing or flossing, be sure to speak to your dentist as soon as possible.
Development of Pregnancy Tumors
The name may sound frightening but pregnancy tumors in your mouth are actually small benign bumps that develop on the surface of your gums. In most cases, they will go away on their own once you deliver your baby. In some instances, pregnancy tumors can become uncomfortable and make it difficult for you to eat. If you've developed pregnancy tumors that have are causing you pain or discomfort, contact your dentist. Your dentist can remove the tumors during an office visit. If you do have them removed, be sure to keep an eye on the area because they can return.
If you're pregnant, you need to take care of your teeth. Be sure to visit your dentist at least once during your pregnancy. If you develop any of the dental problems described above, be sure to discuss them with your dentist, like those at Dental Associates PC or similar offices.