What You Probably Don’t Know About Oral Health and Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of change. The body responds to pregnancy hormones and physical changes in a vast range of ways, and oral health can also be affected. Here, we look at some oral symptoms and changes that can arise during pregnancy and offer tips for coping with them.
Vomiting and morning sickness
Vomiting from morning sickness is one of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy. Vomiting increases the acidity in the mouth, which can have a negative impact on the health and strength of tooth enamel. Nausea and vomiting can also cause halitosis (bad breath).
While it may be tempting to brush your teeth immediately after vomiting, it is important to avoid over-brushing. When you vomit, the acids soften tooth enamel – the strong, protective coating on your teeth. Brushing teeth when the enamel is soft strips it away, exposing your teeth to decay and sensitivity issues.
Instead of brushing after vomiting, Parramatta dentists recommend rinsing with water immediately after to help reduce acid in the mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help neutralise acid, prevent bad breath and even help settle nausea for some women. When brushing, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to help protect enamel and gums.
Pregnancy often causes swelling as a result of hormonal changes and increased blood flow. It is not just feet, faces and waistlines that suffer! Gums can become swollen too. Swollen gums can cause pain and discomfort as well as sensitivity and bleeding.
Sometimes, swelling causes the gums to pull away from teeth, leaving gaps for food particles and bacteria to become trapped. This can result in decay, cavities and gum disease.
It is important to visit your dentist in Parramatta if you are experiencing sensitive, swollen gums. A professional dental clean can effectively access under and around the gum line, remove damaging bacteria (which can also cause bad breath), and prevent future gum disease and decay.
At home, help care for swollen gums by flossing daily and reducing sugary food and drink intake.
Sensitive teeth and pregnancy often go hand in hand. When your gums swell, they will likely also become more sensitive. Try and identify the trigger foods that cause sensitivity. While triggers differ from person to person, they are often hot, cold, spicy or highly acidic foods and drinks.
A sensitive toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush can help alleviate tooth and gum sensitivity during pregnancy. Read the labels and check with your dentist to see whether products are appropriate for use during pregnancy.
Planning on becoming pregnant? It is highly recommended that you visit your dental clinic Parramatta for a check up and clean and undertake any dental treatments necessary. Whilst the juggle can feel overwhelming, once your new baby has arrived, it is important to continue to prioritise your dental health.
Dental Avenue Parramatta is here to help you prior to falling pregnant, during your pregnancy, and postpartum. Call us today on 02 8004 0055 and book your appointment.
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