Pregnancy is often daunting, whether you are a first-time parent or if you’ve been through it before. Amid all these concerns, the effects on oral health are often furthest from the mind. But there are significant issues that can arise with all these changes. Today, your Austin, MN dentist writes on the possible harm of pregnancy on the well-being of your gums.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is the infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. Primarily caused by bacterial growth, it is a serious condition that is a leading cause of tooth loss. If left unchecked, it can also deteriorate the bone in the jaw.
The most common cause of periodontal disease stems from gingivitis. A milder form of gum disease, gingivitis is caused by a lack of attention to oral health regimens.
Initially, patients report swelling and redness at the gumline, and often tenderness at the site. If the infection continues, the gums will bleed during tooth brushing. You might feel this is due to overeager action or a firm toothbrush, but most likely it’s caused by gingivitis. The gums should never bleed during your brushing, and this is a serious sign that you should consult a dentist.
During pregnancy, the body transforms in order to facilitate the growth of a child. Changes in hormones can leave the mother much more susceptible to a buildup of plaque on teeth.
These changes occur essentially immediately after conception, and many mothers can see changes to their teeth even before they know they are pregnant. Periodontal disease is elevated in expecting mothers from the 2nd through the 8th month of pregnancy, with risks increasing as the pregnancy develops.
With all the concerns that come with having a child, this might feel overwhelming. But it is very important to monitor any changes to the teeth or the gums. Your dentist will most likely want to see you for a routine examination and cleaning in either the 2nd or 3rd trimester. Any further care that your dentist advises should be taken seriously.
Gum Care During Pregnancy
Luckily, maintaining healthy gums during pregnancy does not take much more effort than a traditional regimen. The significance is elevated, however, and the risks are greater.
Like dentists always suggest, a twice-daily tooth brushing routine alongside daily flossing and an oral rinse are the biggest factors in a healthy mouth. It is important to brush after eating any food at night, and that means after every late night snack!
An adequate diet is also highly important in keeping the gums healthy. With a child growing inside you, your nutrients are shared with another being, and your body becomes an afterthought to the child.
Our mouths are a gateway for bacteria, essentially the largest weakness our body has. We need a level of nutrition to be able to fight off infection, and during pregnancy, even more so. An array of fruits and vegetables help our body to have the weapons it needs so that it can protect our system.
ABOUT YOUR AUSTIN, MN, DENTIST:
Our team offers our patients and their family access to comprehensive dental care, including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.