Dr. Amanda Tavoularis (dentably.com)
Oral care is not the first thing on a pregnant woman’s mind, but it’s important to keep up with it. Poor oral hygiene can cause a huge range of other health problems, and pregnant women are especially susceptible. For example, gum disease, or gingivitis, has been shown to cause premature births so it’s easy to see why taking care of your mouth should be a priority. I’ve been a dentist for over 20 years, and have worked with pregnant women my entire career to help them keep their mouths healthy. Here are my tips to maintain healthy teeth and gums during your pregnancy, and preventing the ill effects of gum disease.
What Are The Dangers Of Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums. Left unchecked, that disease can spread to your bloodstream and throughout your body. In the mouth, it can cause receding gum lines and eventually tooth loss. Throughout the rest of your body, it can travel around and cause a myriad of issues. Once it gets to your uterus in can actually cause premature births, which is why it is so important to take seriously.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
First off, you should continue to stick to your dentist’s appointments even when pregnant. A dentist has the proper tools to give you a deep cleaning and remove any built-up plaque or tartar in your mouth.
A dentist will also be able to spot and treat any current issues. It’s very difficult to tell if you have a dental issue, while a dentist will easily be able to tell. Catching it early is key to preventing it from getting worse, so make sure to keep up with your appointments. Even if you’re usually healthy, hormone changes during pregnancy can make you more susceptible to gum disease.
How to Properly Care for Your Teeth at Home
After visiting your dentist it’s important to maintain your routine to keep your teeth protected. Proper oral care requires brushing twice per day every day. You should also floss and use an antimicrobial mouthwash once a day. Make sure you stick to this routine as even short lapses can give bacteria in your mouth room to grow.
You should also try to avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible. Things like soda and juice are teeming with sugar, which is exactly what bacteria need to grow. The more you can limit your sugar intake, the healthier your mouth and whole body will be.
Seek Treatment Immediately
If you do get diagnosed with gum disease it’s important to seek treatment. Most doctors will recommend dental procedures happen during your second trimester, so speak with your dentist to find out their recommendations. It’s important to address this, as the longer you wait the worse things can get.
Taking care of your mouth is an important step towards a healthy pregnancy. The dangers of gum disease are too great to ignore, but luckily they’re easy to combat. By following these tips, you reduce the chance of gum disease and get one step closer to a successful pregnancy.
Guest Post written by Dr. Amanda Tavoularis