What to Expect When Expecting

Posted by FountainSquareCosmeticDentalGroup | Filed under , , ,

There must be something in the water because lately we have seen a lot of pregnant women in the office. First of all, we would like to say congratulations! We thought it would be a good idea to offer some oral health advice on what to expect when expecting.

 We know that you have a lot to think about during pregnancy, but we don’t want you to neglect your oral hygiene at the same time. The hormonal changes that occur can affect your gums and some women experience something called “pregnancy gingivitis”, which is an infection of the gums that can result in swelling and tenderness. One indicator of gingivitis during pregnancy is bleeding gums while brushing or flossing.

 

Sometimes, the gums in between the teeth can become enlarged, bleed easily, and look like a raw mulberrylike surface. These growths typically appear during the second trimester and are known as “pregnancy tumors”. These are not cancerous and normally disappear on their own after pregnancy.

 You should continue to see your dentist regularly during pregnancy for oral examinations and cleanings. Some dentist may even recommend more frequent cleanings in order to prevent gingivitis. It is very important to maintain good oral health because studies indicate that pregnant women with periodontal disease, or gum disease, are at increased risk for pre-term delivery, which increases the risk of having a low-birth weight baby.

 Patients are normally concerned about taking dental x-rays during the pregnancy; typically, we can defer taking x-rays until the baby is born. Pregnant women should not be treated with tetracycline because it can cause staining of the fetus’ developing teeth, causing them to look gray or brown permanently. Believe it or not, children’s teeth begin forming as early as 4 months in utero!

 Your oral health is an important part of your overall health, and untreated dental disease can be harmful to you and your baby. The keys to maintaining good oral hygiene are brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day, floss in between the teeth daily, and limit exposure to sugars because the longer it remains on the tooth, the greater the risk of decay. For more information on oral health during pregnancy, please visit the American Dental Assocation website.

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