Pregnancy and Dental Work…….What To Expect and Do! Part 1

Since pregnancy is in our thoughts these days we figured it would be a good time to review the topic when considering dentistry.

Oral hygiene may be the last thing that comes to mind when you learn that you’re pregnant, but just as it affects nearly every other aspect of your body, it also affects your mouth.

Pregnancy gingivitisPregnancy gingivitis has the same symptoms as regular gingivitis (red, swollen, tender, receding and/or bleeding gums), but some of the causes are different. It can start as early as the second month and continue throughout your entire pregnancy. During your pregnancy, your hormone levels are constantly changing. Increased progesterone can spur the growth of certain gingivitis-causing bacteria. Additionally, your immune system often changes during pregnancy, which can affect the way your body responds to these bacteria.

The techniques to treat gingivitis are the same whether you’re pregnant or not. Practicing good oral hygiene is key, especially when you have an increased risk of gum disease. Be sure to continue brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing your teeth every day. Additionally, you may want to use a mouthwash to help fight off bacteria. Even though it’s not clear whether rinses containing alcohol may be harmful for your growing baby, you should look for an alcohol-free mouthwash, just the same. You also want to be sure to keep up with your regularly scheduled checkups. The best time of your pregnancy to do this is the second trimester.

Pregnancy granuloma Granuloma is simply a fancy name for “a growth.” Up to 10% of women will develop a granuloma on their gums during pregnancy. While these growths are not tumors and they’re not dangerous, certainly they can be uncomfortable. Granulomas typically form during the second trimester, most often found in women with pregnancy gingivitis. Although these growths will go away on their own after you give birth, you can have them removed if they’re interfering with your day-to-day activities like eating, drinking and talking. Poor oral hygiene plays a big role in the formation of granulomas. When you’re pregnant (as always), you should be sure to keep up with your regular dental checkups and daily care of your mouth.

Look for upcoming posts in our series on pregnancy and your teeth. To learn more, check out Rigby Advanced Dental and schedule a hygiene visit now.

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