Pregnancy and Your Teeth

(photo: ctto)

    Being pregnant is a  milestone in a woman's life. A lot of changes will take place to a woman's body once she finds out that she is pregnant. And that goes for both her physical state as well as her mental and emotional states. Physically, most noticeable, of course, is the baby bump. However, even inside her mouth, changes take place.

    Because of the surge in hormones, particulary an estrogen and progesterone increase, the gums may react differently to plaque ("biofilm or mass of bacteria that grows on surfaces within the mouth" according to Wikipedia) . You may be prone to what is called "pregnancy gingivitis" with red, swollen, tender gums that may tend to bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. It is very important to see your dentist during pregnancy for oral examinations and teeth cleaning. If your ginigivits is left untreated, it may eventually lead to diseases involving the other tissues surrounding your teeth.

    Another dental concern for pregnant women is when they undergo morning sickness. If you experience that and vomit frequently, make sure tha you rinse your mouth everytime to prevent the acids from attacking your teeth.

    You have to inform your dentist at what stage you are in your pregnancy; the medications or supplements you are taking. Non-emergency dental treatments may be performed throughout your pregnancy with the second trimester as the best time to undergo these procedures. Radiographs or xrays are generally safe during pregnancy but may be best delayed after your baby is born. However, if your treatment necessitates an xray, the dentist will cover your abdomen with a lead-lined apron as well as with a thyroid collar for your throat as a protective measure.

     A healthy diet is important during pregnancy. Since your baby's teeth start developing between your third and sixth month, what you take in during this time will certainly have an effect on your baby. Do remember to eat nutritiously especially food that are rich in protein, calcium and vitamins A, C and D.  As pregnant women have a tendency to eat more and have cravings, make sure you choose those that are low in sugar.  It is always best to follow your doctor's advice regarding your diet.

    Maintaining good oral habits throughout your pregnancy will definitely have a good effect on your baby's health as well as yours.