Posts Tagged ‘gum disease’

Dental health during pregnancy

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Taking care of your gums and teeth during pregnancy can help you and your baby be healthy. One way to maintain good dental health is to visit your dentist regularly. Some women may think it’s not safe to visit the dentist when they’re pregnant. This is a myth. It is safe, and also a good idea to visit your dentist during pregnancy. During your checkup, tell your dentist and hygienist that you’re pregnant and about any changes you may be having with your teeth and gums. Your dental professionals will help you keep a sparkly healthy smile during your pregnancy.

Common dental problems during pregnancy

  • Bleeding gums. High levels of progesterone can make your gums swollen, red and sore. This inflammation is called gingivitis. Without treatment, gingivitis can become a serious gum disease called periodontitis.
  • Tooth decay. It is common to have more acid in your mouth during pregnancy. This extra acid can break down your tooth coating, called enamel. This makes you more likely to get cavities.
  • Lumps on swollen gums. These are tumors that form between teeth, but they are not cancer. These tumors may be caused by having too much plaque (sticky bacteria that forms on teeth). Pregnancy tumors usually go away on their own.
  • This is a serious gum disease, and it needs treatment to avoid complications for you and your baby. Some studies have linked periodontitis to premature birth(birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and low birthweight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces).

What can you do?

  • Brush your teeth regularly. Brush for 2 minutes, using a toothbrush with soft bristles, twice a day. Make sure you use a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss every day.  Floss at least once a day to clean in between your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing around the gum line are key to removing plaque and helping prevent periodontitis and tooth decay.
  • Rinse your mouth if you throw up. If you throw up, rinse your mouth with water to wash away the acid. If morning sickness makes you feel too sick to brush your teeth you can rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Have a dental checkup that includes an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning every 6 months. You also need a checkup during pregnancy, especially if you have any discomforts in your mouth.
  • Eat healthy foods. Eating foods packed with nutrients will help you and your growing baby get enough calcium, protein and vitamins. These nutrients will also help ensure your baby’s teeth grow healthy.
  • Limit sweets. Having too many sweet foods or drinks can lead to tooth decay. Instead of sweets, drink water and pick healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and dairy products.

Visit marchofdimes.org for more information about how to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Crest & Oral-B proudly support March of Dimes in the fight for the health of all moms and babies. Oral health matters, especially during pregnancy. To learn more, click HERE or visit marchofdimes.org/partners.

March of Dimes does not endorse specific brands of products.

Due to changing hormones during pregnancy, dental care should be a priority

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Smiling pregnant woman lying on couchPregnancy is a time of many changes to your body. Some are exciting and amazing, while others are not as much fun. Did you know that because your hormone levels increase, your gums and teeth may change during pregnancy? You’re more likely to have some dental health problems that you did not have before you became pregnant.

Changes in hormone levels can affect your body’s response to dental plaque bacteria, causing swelling, sensitivity and tenderness in your gums. Most pregnant women have some bleeding of their gums, especially while brushing or flossing. Your gums are more likely to become inflamed or infected. Gum inflammation is called “gingivitis;” it’s an early form of periodontal disease, which can ultimately result in tooth loss or other oral health problems.  Other dental issues that may occur include loose teeth, tooth decay or loss, and lumps or non-cancerous tumors which form on gums in-between teeth. Also, you may notice that your mouth produces more saliva.

Here’s what can do if you are pregnant:

Step up your oral care routine; fight plaque at home every day.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush thoroughly twice a day. If you have a lot of sensitivity, try using toothpaste designed for sensitive gums. If your gums hurt after brushing, apply ice to soothe the pain.

Make sure the toothpaste and mouthwash you use fight gingivitis. Read product labels as many toothpastes and mouthwashes do not contain gingivitis fighting ingredients. A toothpaste containing stannous fluoride is a great choice as it not only fights cavities and sensitivity, but also helps reduce gingivitis. Floss once a day to clean in between your teeth. If you’re vomiting (so sorry), be sure to rinse your mouth with water or clean your teeth afterward to get rid of extra stomach acids in your mouth.

Cut down on sweets

Candy, cookies, cake, soft drinks and other sweets can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. Instead, have fresh fruit or make other healthy choices to satisfy your sweet tooth. Watch out for some dried fruits, like raisins and figs, that can stick in the crevasses of your teeth. They’re delicious but contain lots of natural sugar, so remember to brush!

Get regular dental care

If left unchecked, some conditions, like gingivitis, may lead to more serious gum disease. Be sure to have a dental checkup early in pregnancy to help your mouth remain healthy. You may even want to see your dentist more often than usual. Although it’s best to have your teeth cleaned and checked for any trouble spots before pregnancy, being pregnant is no reason to avoid your dentist.

Don’t put off dental work until after delivery

Decaying teeth can cause infection that could harm your baby. If you think you need a dental filling, don’t panic. Go get it checked out. Always be sure to tell your dentist that you’re pregnant and how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Bottom line

A good daily oral care routine, keeping up with seeing your dentist, and regular visits to your prenatal care provider are all essential parts of a healthy pregnancy.

Looking for more information? Learn how pregnancy affects your dental health and check out if you are at risk for gum disease.

Have questions? Text or email them to AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

March of Dimes does not endorse specific brands or products.

Chat on dental health in pregnancy

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

brushing teeth56% of U.S. women say they did not visit a dentist during pregnancy and 35% have not seen a dentist within the past year, according to an ACOG Committee Opinion published earlier this year. Not good! We’ll tell you why.

Some studies show a link between periodontitis (a gum disease) and premature birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy). It is also linked to low birthweight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces). Keeping your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy can help protect your baby.

Join us, @MODHealthTalk, on Twitter this Thursday, October 24th at 1 PM for a discussion about the importance of maintaining oral health during pregnancy. Be a part of the conversation – ask questions and share, and be sure to use #pregnancychat to be fully involved.