Don’t Neglect Your Smile during Pregnancy

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At RK Dentistry in Danville, California, we want our patients to be aware of how their oral health habits impact their pregnancy. You don’t want to neglect your smile during pregnancy, in fact, it is vital to take care of your oral health during pregnancy, not just for your oral health, but also for your developing baby. Poor oral habits have been linked to premature delivery, low growth rate in utero, preeclampsia and even gestational diabetes. So let’s take a look at what this means for you.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

This is an inflammation of your gums from hormone changes during pregnancy that can cause them to swell, bleed, and feel tender. Gum disease can directly affect the health of your baby as it develops in utero.

Tooth Decay

To avoid tooth decay while you are pregnant, remember to focus on healthy foods, avoid sugary snacks, and limit snacking in general. You may have cravings (ice cream, anyone?), but focus on healthy choices as much as possible. Healthy snack choices include dairy products such as cheese or yogurt, making them a good choice for your baby as their teeth, gums and bones are developing. Remember too that the more often you snack the more your pearly whites are susceptible to decay.

Pregnancy Tumors

Tissue overgrowth—pregnancy tumors—can develop on the gums, usually in the second trimester. This swelling between the teeth may arise due to excess plaque in the mouth which isn’t removed daily. Lack of daily brushing and flossing, whether from exhaustion, morning sickness, a heightened gag reflex, or tender gums, needs to be reversed and your oral hygiene stepped up, now more than ever.

What You Can Do

–Six-month routine visits are vital due to hormonal changes that may cause gingivitis or pregnancy tumors.

–Brush with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day and floss daily.

–Rinse nightly with mouthwash that has fluoride and is alcohol-free.

–Chewing gum or using mints containing xylitol after eating can help reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay.

–If you experience morning sickness with vomiting, you can rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water to keep acid from attacking your teeth.

–Take good care of your gums as periodontal disease can lead to early birth or miscarriage.

Don’t neglect your oral health during pregnancy. To find out more about how your oral health affects your developing child, or if you have any oral health concerns, please call 925-736-4201 today. At RK Dentistry in Danville, California, Dr. Richard J. Koeltl and our team care about you and your baby’s health!