Why Pregnant Women Are At An Increased Risk Of Gum Disease

…. and what expecting mums from Wickford and Rayleigh can do to help prevent it.

News of the future birth of a child can be an exciting time, but also one that can be hard work for mums to be.

Many months of tiredness and discomfort are likely for many, and, however much they are looking forward to seeing their child for the first time, pregnancy can be a challenging time.

In addition to the tiredness and other problems, there is also a real risk that your oral health may take a downward turn. A combination of feeling exhausted and the increased risk of gum infections means that special care needs to be taken at this time.

Hormones

During pregnancy, hormone levels change. Some of these changes put mums to be at an increased risk of gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis (also peri-implantitis if you already have dental implants). The number of bacteria which contribute to gum disease, and are ever present in our mouths, can start to increase and your regular cleaning regime may be insufficient to ensure that you maintain healthy gums. If allowed to advance unchecked, loose or even lost teeth are a real possibility.

Brushing and Flossing

The cornerstone of having a healthy mouth is to brush your teeth well and floss regularly too. It can be tempting to ease up on this during pregnancy, especially in the evenings when you are tired and even in the morning if you are suffering from morning sickness. It is essential though that you continue to do so. In fact, if you are sick, you should swill your mouth with water and then clean your teeth a few minutes later to ensure that any stomach acids are eliminated.

Professional dental care

In addition to seeing a dentist at the Cygnet Dental Practice on a regular basis, we recommend that you add hygienist appointments to this, especially during pregnancy. The hygienist will remove tartar from the teeth and gum line. This is a hardened form of gum damaging bacteria and can’t be removed by home care alone. The procedure is painless and non invasive and will make a big difference to the health of your mouth.

Many patients that do take up this suggestion often continue their hygienist appointments following the birth of their child as they are surprised at how much better their mouths feel afterwards, and, in some cases, how much fresher their breath is too.

Your pregnancy can be an exciting, if sometimes difficult time. Making sure that you teeth and gums are clean though, will help you to avoid the need for invasive dental treatments such as a deep clean. Although it may take a little extra effort at a time when you may not really feel like it, it really is worth it.

If you would like to see a dentist or dental hygienist and live in the Wickford or Rayleigh area, please call us on 01268 733078. The Cygnet team will be pleased to assist you!