Our Dental Blog

How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Oral Health?

April 7, 2022

Pregnancy can be overwhelming, with nearly every aspect of your body changing by the day. With all these concerns, expecting mothers might not think about how it affects their smile. Whether you are a first-time parent or you have been through this before, it is important to monitor your oral health. Today, your Kansas City, MO dentist discusses the effects of pregnancy on the well-being of your gums.

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Periodontal Disease

Gum disease, or its clinical term periodontal disease, is the bacterial infection of the gums. It is more than a nuisance, it can lead to tooth loss and eventual bone decay.

Gingivitis is the leading cause of this condition, which is essentially a milder form of periodontal disease. The first symptoms patients might experience are swelling and redness of the gums.

Later, the gums will bleed during regular tooth brushing. Often, this is attributed to overaggressive brushing, but that’s not generally the case. You should not see blood in brushing often, if at all. This is a serious sign that changes need to be made to an oral health regimen.

Hormonal Changes

Our bodies change immensely during the pregnancy process in order to nurture the development of an unborn child. Hormone changes in the body unfortunately leave the mother significantly more susceptible to plaque buildup on the teeth.

This shift in body chemicals begins almost immediately after conception, even before most mothers even know they are pregnant. From the 2nd to 8th month of pregnancy, periodontal disease is considerably more likely, and it increases as the child develops.

While it might feel overwhelming, with all the other concerns, it is critical to keep an eye on any changes to the mouth. A routine cleaning and examination are suggested in either the 2nd or 3rd trimester. If the dentist suggests more care is needed, always heed their care instructions.

How Should You Care For Pregnant Teeth?

Fortunately, the care necessary to maintain healthy gums does not differ significantly from a traditional routine. What is different, however, is the amount of significance placed upon keeping to the regimen.

As any dentist will suggest, it is imperative to brush your teeth twice a day, with daily flossing and an antiseptic rinse. One thing to pay attention to are the cravings late at night. Each time you eat at night, brush your teeth again. Bacterial growth is left unchecked overnight on all the food particles that remain.

Pregnant mothers also must maintain an appropriate diet in order to ensure their mouth stays healthy. While the body is sharing its nutrients with a growing fetus, the mother’s body starts to become second in importance.

Our mouth is essentially a free entrance for bacteria to enter, and we need these nutrients to fight off any advancing intruders. A broad variety of fruits and vegetables are imperative to ensure our bodies have all the tools they need.

Questions About Pregnancy And Your Smile?

If you have any further questions, please give Dr. Lucaci at Cosmetic Implant Dentistry Kansas City in Kansas City, MO a call today at (816)427-4018.