While you’re pregnant it’s important to take care of your body, but did you know it’s also important to keep your mouth healthy? It’s true, your oral health plays a big role in your overall body health, and can cause serious problems if ignored. This is even more important when pregnant, as these issues can ultimately lead to pregnancy complications.
As a dentist with over 20 years of experience (most recently at Emergency Dentists USA), I’ve worked with countless women to help them keep their mouth healthy during their pregnancy, and educated them on the dangers of not doing so. I’ve put together my top tips for beating gum disease during your pregnancy.
Let’s start with what gum disease is, and why you should be worried about it. Gum disease itself is caused by bacteria in your mouth that target the soft tissues and bone around the tooth. At first, it causes redness and bleeding, but if left untreated can lead to complete tooth loss. Even when not pregnant this is a serious issue, and not something you should ignore.
In terms of pregnancy gum disease is dangerous because the bacteria that cause it can spread. Left untreated, it can enter your bloodstream, and travel down to your uterus and placenta. There it can cause serious issues including premature birth. This is why it’s so important to prevent and treat gum disease during your pregnancy or you put yourself at risk for serious complications.
First up, you want to make sure that you continue visiting your dentist. They can not only help clean your teeth but can provide valuable feedback on the current state of your mouth. This can help give you an idea of how your at-home habits are working, and correct them if need be. It’s also important for overall oral health as the cleaning they can provide is better than you can do at home.
This is essential as even with proper care at home you can still develop gum disease. During pregnancy, your hormone levels are all going crazy, and this can make you much more susceptible to gum disease, along with other dental issues. This is why it’s so important to keep up with your dental visits, or you may develop issues without even knowing about them. A dentist can help discover these issues and then put you on the proper path for treating them.
A dentist like this reputable dentist in Turlock can help discover these issues and then put you on the proper path for treating them.
If your dentist deems it necessary, it’s important to make sure that you get the treatment done. Many doctors suggest waiting until your second trimester but talk to your dentist to get their opinion. Depending on the severity, they may or may not agree, and will recommend the time that works best for you and your baby. In some severe cases, you may be recommended to go as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading.
A common myth is that you can’t get dental procedures done or take medication while pregnant. That’s simply not true, most medications and procedures are perfectly safe to do during your pregnancy. Make sure to bring this concern up with your dentist though. They will be able to properly educate you, and pick the safest options available. That said, it is best to do only the necessary procedures during your pregnancy. Purely cosmetic ones like teeth whitening should wait until after you give birth.
Last, but certainly not least, make sure to take your at-home care seriously. Preventative care is one of the most effective ways to prevent gum disease. This includes brushing twice per day, and then flossing once per day and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. These three combined are the most effective way to keep your mouth healthy and prevent the vast majority of dental related issues.
It’s also important to watch your diet while you’re pregnant. This can be difficult due to pregnancy cravings, but it’s important to do your best. In particular, you want to limit the amount of sugary foods you eat or drink. This includes things like candy, pop, and certain juices. Sugary foods are bad for your teeth and directly contribute to the growth of bacteria in your mouth. The less of it you take in, the less opportunity you are giving the bacteria to grow. Keeping a balanced diet is another key way to help take care of your mouth.
With all of this information, you’re now equipped to understand and beat gum disease. Take this seriously, and if you find yourself with a dental emergency, it’s important to find resources to help. Keeping your mouth free of infection is key for your overall health. Take care of your mouth, and you’ll find yourself with a happier body and successful pregnancy.