Pregnancy and Oral Health
Oral health may not be at the top of your list of concerns during your pregnancy. However, it is more important than many may realize. Did you know that there are several early signs of pregnancy that are related to your oral health? Here is what you need to know about oral care when expecting.
The pending arrival of a little one can bring a lot of joy. However, pregnancy also leads to many changes in the body, the mouth included. As such, it is important to be aware of the connections between pregnancy and oral health. Be sure to keep up your daily dental habits too, this will benefit you and your little one.
Oral Health: Symptoms of Pregnancy
During the early stages of pregnancy women may notice that their mouth is drier than usual. Dry mouth, also called xerostomia can occur due to hormonal changes in the body (1). Drinking plenty of fluids, preferably water, may provide some relief, as might the use of a humidifier whilst you sleep.
Another symptom one can notice during pregnancy is sore and bleeding gums, also known as pregnancy gingivitis. This is mainly due to plaque which may build-up and irritate your gums. In such cases talk to your dentist. Getting your teeth cleaned professionally may help avoid this build-up (2).
Remember to consult your doctor or gynaecologist about any symptoms you may have and how they can be managed. Having qualified professionals at hand will help keep your mind at ease.
Healthy Oral Care Habits
As pregnancy can impact your mouth, oral care is even more important when you are expecting. Being proactive with your dental hygiene is a great way to minimize the risk of more serious oral health concerns. Here are some healthy habits to implement into your life today:
- Maintain a heathy diet, limit sugary drinks and excess sodium and acidity
- Floss between your teeth once a day, to help keep plaque away
- Brush your teeth twice a day, for the recommended 2 minutes
- Make time for professional teeth cleaning at your dentists
- Eat regular meals, avoid frequent snacking
Finally, your dentist should be notified about your pregnancy as soon as possible. They can then talk you through how to best maintain good oral health whilst pregnant. Taking care of yourself will positively impact both you and your baby.
1. American Dental Association. Xerostomia (Dry Mouth). Link to page. Accessed November 13, 2020.
2. NHS. Teeth and Gums in Pregnancy. Link to page. Accessed November 13, 2020.
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