Question

Pregnancy and Oral Health

How does pregnancy affect oral health?

A Answers (3)

  • ADe Vizio, DMD, Dentistry, answered on behalf of Colgate
    Pregnancy affects your entire body and your mouth is no exception. There are several oral health complications that may arise during the course of your pregnancy, and it is important to be aware of them. The most common is pregnancy gingivitis. This condition causes your gums to become red and irritated. They may even begin to bleed. Experts believe that higher levels of hormones and changes in your immune system are at fault. A less common complication is a pregnancy granuloma, often referred to as a pregnancy tumor, although this description is completely inaccurate. Pregnancy granulomas are small red growths that develop on your gums, and in some cases, they may bleed as well. Poor oral hygiene is most likely responsible for this condition. Pregnancy gingivitis and pregnancy granulomas are often linked. Other complications to be aware of are tooth decay as a result of morning sickness and dry mouth.
  • Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman, but don’t overlook your oral health, which can be affected by the hormonal changes you will experience during this time. For example, women are more likely to develop gingivitis during pregnancy, an infection of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness. Your gums also may bleed a little when you brush or floss. Left untreated, gingivitis can affect the supporting tissues that hold your teeth in place. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to prevent this.

    You should continue to see your dentist during pregnancy for oral examinations and professional teeth cleaning. Tell your dentist that you are pregnant and about any changes you have noticed in your oral health. Good daily care is key to your oral health. To help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, always brush your teeth twice a day and clean between your teeth once a day, eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.

  • AJerry Gordon, Dentistry, answered

    During pregnancy, many women experience increased sensitivity and puffiness of the gums. Pregnancy causes an alteration in the estrogen and progesterone levels that, when coupled with plaque that is present in the mouth, and can cause an exaggerated form of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Professional dental cleanings twice during your pregnancy, as well as frequent daily brushing (3 times a day) and flossing will greatly reduce gum swelling and sensitivity.

    Most dental treatment can be safely completed during pregnancy. Despite the extremely low radiation of dental x-rays, routine check-up x-rays are usually avoided during pregnancy if the expectant mother has received routine dental care, and is in good dental health. If the expectant mother is in pain, dental x-rays can be safely taken, but I advise using two lead aprons to shield the radiation. Dental anesthetics at regular doses, some types of antibiotics and pain medication are not harmful during pregnancy.

     

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What is the link between gingivitis and pregnancy?