Dental Care During Pregnancy
Now that you are pregnant, you may be hoping that you can ditch those dental appointments, but you may want to think twice about skipping those appointments. Pregnancy is actually the time to take extra special care of your teeth and gums. During pregnancy, increased hormone levels can make your teeth and gums extra sensitive to bacteria, which could increase your risk of developing certain dental infections. So call up your dentist and make that appointment!
Dental Complications During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be a wonderful time, filled with joy and excitement. Unfortunately, it can also be quite a frustrating time, especially if you are experiencing dental problems throughout your pregnancy. Pregnant women are actually more prone to dental complications and it is important to get these complications treated effectively. If left untreated, some of them can actually put you at an increased risk for pregnancy complications.
There are a variety of dental problems that women are more prone to experience during pregnancy. These issues include periodontal disease, pregnancy tumors, and pregnancy gingivitis.
Pregnancy gingivitis is the most common dental concern during pregnancy, affecting almost 50% of all pregnant women. Pregnancy gingivitis causes your gums to become red, puffy, and inflamed. It can also trigger bleeding gums when you are brushing and flossing.
Pregnancy gingivitis is caused by bacteria that form between your teeth and gums. When you eat, tiny particles of food get stuck between your gums and teeth. These particles soon attract bacteria, resulting in inflamed gums. Anyone can be affected by gingivitis but pregnant women are at greater risk. This is because amplified levels of progesterone and estrogen lead to increased blood flow throughout the body, especially to the gums.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, this is a severe gum infection, which destroys the bones and fibers that help to keep your teeth in place.
Periodontal gum disease can cause some very unpleasant side effects, including bleeding from the gums, tooth loss, and infection. Periodontal disease is of particular concern during pregnancy. An increased risk for both preterm labor and having a low birthweight baby is associated with periodontal disease.
Pregnancy tumors can form if you are suffering from pregnancy gingivitis or periodontal disease. Also known as pyogenic granulomas, these tumors are growths that form on your gums. They can sometimes make it hard to speak, eat, and swallow, and may cause pain or discomfort. These tumors can be removed by your dentist if necessary.