Pregnancy is a sensitive period due to the changes the soon-to-be mother experiences. At this point, the body is responding to hormones, not forgetting the various physical changes, including oral health. This article will give insight into some oral symptoms and changes that may arise during pregnancy. We will also lay down tips on how to cope with them.
Nausea is the most common early pregnancy sign and is probably the most challenging. While we relate this symptom to how we feel, the effects of vomiting extend to our teeth. It increases the acidity level in the mouth, which negatively affects the health and strength of the tooth enamel and can also lead to halitosis (bad breath).
It’s only normal to want to get rid of the awful taste through brushing. But do not be tempted to do it immediately after throwing up. During pregnancy, nausea and vomiting may be rampant until the second or third semester. That said, it is important to watch out for overbrushing.
Vomit includes acids, which tend to soften the tooth enamel (the hard and protective coating on our teeth). When the enamel is soft, it erodes if you brush your teeth. The exposure of your teeth invites more problems like decay and sensitivity issues.
Dentists advise women to immediately rinse their mouths with water to reduce the acidity levels rather than brushing. An alternative is chewing sugar-free gum to neutralise the acid and prevent bad breath. It also minimises the nauseous feeling for some.
You should use a soft-bristled brush to preserve the enamel and gums during your brushing sessions.
Swelling is common in pregnancy due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow. While you may be familiar with this characteristic on the feet, face, and waistline, your gums can swell too. Swollen gums can be painful, uncomfortable, and even cause sensitivity and bleeding.
In some instances, swelling may cause the gums to pull away, creating gaps that trap food particles and bacteria. The consequences can be tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. If you are experiencing sensitive and swollen gums, book an appointment with your dentist in Parramatta. A professional dental clean incorporates accessing the area under and around the gum line to remove damaging bacteria (also a cause for bad breath) and prevent gum disease and decay in the future.
Home care for swollen gums includes flossing daily and reducing your intake of substances like sugary foods and drinks.
Sensitive teeth are synonymous with pregnancy. Having swollen gums means that they will also be sensitive. The foods which trigger this are usually hot, cold, spicy or highly acidic.
Pregnant women are advised to use sensitive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to help mitigate tooth and gum sensitivity. Taking precautions by reading the labels of products and checking in with your dentist on whether they are appropriate during pregnancy is recommended.
Plan to get pregnant soon? The professionals recommend that you schedule a visit to your dental clinic for a check-up, cleaning and undergo any necessary treatments to maintain your oral health.
While juggling between a newborn and self-care can be huge for new parents, your dental health is also essential and deserves your attention. Keep up with your oral health to avoid costly and preventable dental visits later!
Whether you wish to get pregnant, are pregnant, or it’s the postpartum period for you, you shouldn’t compromise on oral health. Schedule an appointment with your Parramatta dentist to be on top of your dental health. At the same time, brush after meals, floss daily, and avoid acidic and sugary foods, especially during such a sensitive period.