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How Does Pregnancy Affect Oral Health?

How Pregnancy Affects your oral healthThere are a lot of myths floating around about how pregnancy can affect your oral health, and it is important for you to separate fact from fiction.

One widespread myth about oral health during pregnancy is that the fetus absorbs calcium from your teeth while in the womb. This is simply not true. If the fetus requires calcium, the required amount will be accessed from the calcium in your diet and the calcium stored in your bones.

So then, what are some of the REAL ways pregnancy can affect your oral health?

Oral Health during Pregnancy: Separating Fact from Fiction

It is imperative that you continue to take good care for your teeth during pregnancy, and here’s why:

Pregnancy Gingivitis is one of the more common dental problems that can develop during pregnancy. This is normally caused by the increased progesterone hormone that enhances the growth of bacteria that causes gingivitis. It causes the gums to become delicate and swell.

Occasional bleeding may occur if the situation is not carefully handled. This issue can usually be prevented by booking a dental appointment in your first trimester to have your teeth cleaned before bacteria begins to accumulate.

Another issue that can affect your oral health during pregnancy is a condition called pregnancy tumors. Don’t worry, these tumors are not cancerous. They are actually harmless, but they can occasionally cause some mild discomfort. Pregnancy tumors are lumps that can show up in the mouth during pregnancy, and more often than not, they vanish right after childbirth. On very rare occasions, they can become highly irritating and may have to be removed by your dentist.

If you’re a pregnant woman with a more extreme case of morning sickness that brings about excess vomiting, this can sometimes cause the enamel on the back of your front teeth to erode. It is important that you do not brush immediately after vomiting, as this will assist the leftover acid in removing enamel from your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with a baking soda and water mixture can help to reduce the acid levels in your mouth before brushing.

In some instances, it is possible for the mother to experience premature labor due to oral complications. This condition can stem from improper care of the teeth during pregnancy, which can lead to bacteria buildup in the mouth. The bacteria can eventually enter the bloodstream and be absorbed by the fetus. Therefore, during pregnancy, it is best to maintain a balanced diet, brush and floss at least twice a day and use an antibacterial mouthwash in order to prevent potentially harmful bacteria from building up in your mouth.

For more information about your oral health during pregnancy, or to schedule a dental appointment, please contact us.

Dr. Jonathan Everett
Dr. Jonathan Everett received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington and completed his undergraduate studies in biochemistry at Washington State University. During this time, Dr. Everett served as both the President of the American Student Dental Association chapter as well as the Student Council Vice President. As a board-member of DentPAC for the Washington State Dental Association, Dr. Everett fought to maintain the quality of dental care provided in Washington State by working with state legislators and advocating for patient-centered dentistry in Olympia.
Dr. Jonathan Everett
Dr. Jonathan Everett

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