Oral Health and Pregnancy

Pregnant woman cleaning her teeth at bathroom

It is quite obvious that there are a lot of changes occurring in a woman’s body during pregnancy. Hormone fluctuations are responsible for many of those changes. Something that might not occur to you amidst the wonder and many transitions one is experiencing during pregnancy, is the need for additional attention to one’s teeth and gums. Women who are expecting a new family member are at an increased risk for oral health complications, including gingivitis and tooth decay. Sometimes, these seemingly ordinary complications can prove much more devastating during pregnancy. Fortunately, there are steps pregnant women can take to keep their teeth and gums in optimal health from the first trimester to delivery day (as well as, of course, before and after pregnancy!). Today, our team here at Eagle Rock Dentistry are excitd to share them with everyone.

At-home dental care

You should keep doing your normal dental care routine, as long as it includes brushing and flossing twice daily. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at a minimum of twice per day using fluoridated toothpaste. Following up with floss helps to keep bacteria from accumulating in hard-to-reach spaces and between your teeth.

Dental checkups

It is safe and recommended to continue visiting your dentist for routine dental checkups and cleanings during your pregnancy. However, it is imperative to inform your dental team about an existing pregnancy. Special steps must be taken to protect pregnant women from certain medications or X-ray radiation that could be harmful to your growing baby. As a matter of fact, avoiding teeth cleanings during pregnancy can lead to serious consequences, including advanced tooth decay and potential infections.

Food and cravings

Everyone knows that pregnancy can cause a woman to crave specific foods. Your favorite sugary treats like candy, cookies, or sodas may satisfy a sweet tooth, but you should be very cautious with how often you indulge in these sweets. They can cause serious dental problems when consumed frequently or without brushing afterward. Trade out these treats for naturally sweet fruits when possible, and never forget to brush and floss thoroughly after eating – especially after eating sugar-filled foods.

Signs of complications

It is important to understand and recognize the signs of oral health problems during pregnancy; in most cases an early diagnosis usually translates to an easier, less-invasive treatment. Symptoms of potential problems worth knowing about include gums that easily bleed or are swollen, reddened, or painful. These are symptoms of gingivitis, which can lead to a receding gum line and tooth loss if left untreated.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or pain in a tooth, loss of a tooth, a broken tooth, or bad breath that does not go away with brushing, please call our office right away! We have offices in Idaho Falls, Rexburg, and Arco. Check out our contact page to find the number for the office closest to you!

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