If you’re expecting a baby, congratulations! This is an exciting time in your life. And if it’s your first pregnancy, you’re likely starting to appreciate your own mother a little more! Pregnancy can do strange things to women’s bodies. And while you’re likely already (all-too) familiar with the common pregnancy complaints of nausea, food aversions, headaches, bloating and the need to urinate every five minutes, there might be a few things you don’t know about how this little condition can affect your oral health.
And while you’re likely already (all-too) familiar with the common pregnancy complaints of nausea, food aversions, headaches, bloating and the need to urinate every five minutes, there might be a few things you don’t know about how this little condition can affect your oral health.
You already knew your raging hormones made a big difference in your mood and physical health, but did you know they also affect your teeth? A surge in hormones can actually affect your gums and make them react different to plaque. If you notice bleeding gums during your pregnancy, this isn’t uncommon, but you’ll want to talk to your dentist about it.
Just like any other time in your life, plaque buildup can cause gingivitis, or irritated and inflamed gums. But since plaque tends to build up faster during pregnancy, women who have never suffered from gingivitis might experience it for the first time. Additionally, those that were prone to gingivitis before will likely find that the condition worsens during pregnancy.
Although it hasn’t been proven, there is research to suggest a correlation between gingivitis and preterm or low-weight babies. This may be due to bacteria making its way into the bloodstream through the gums. If the bacteria make it to the uterus, it may trigger prostaglandins, a chemical that can induce preterm labor.
While your dentist will avoid non-emergent X-Rays during your pregnancy, it’s still important to see him or her for your regularly scheduled exam and cleanings. In fact, most dental procedures are safe during pregnancy, so don’t avoid your friendly appointment with us! Of course, if you notice changes to your dental health, you’ll want to come in to see us then as well.