It may not be something every expectant mother is thinking about, but proper oral hygiene is very important during pregnancy. Hormonal shifts during pregnancy may put a woman at risk for gum disease. Often women expecting will notice “pregnancy tumors”, which are painless bumps that form on their gums. During pregnancy a woman should work with her dental professional to ensure her oral health is protected.
During a pregnancy an expectant mother should be getting regular checkups from a dental professional, especially when their due date nears. It is safe for a pregnant woman to undergo any necessary treatment to protect her teeth and gums. X-rays, pain medication, and local anesthesia that are used in dental procedures will not affect the unborn child. Here are some things pregnant women should be doing to protect their oral health during pregnancy.
- Women experiencing morning sickness should neutralize the stomach acid that can damage teeth if it lingers on the enamel. To avoid this, regularly rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water. This will eliminate the stomach acid that could be deteriorating your teeth enamel.
- Pregnant women may experience gums that are very sensitive, puffy, or inflamed. This can be associated with the presence of gestation hormones in the blood stream. When food particles are left behind in the teeth, the effects of those hormones on the gums worsen. It is important for pregnant women to brush regularly with a soft bristle brush to avoid any physical damage to their already fragile gums.
- To further protect their oral health during a pregnancy, women should focus on eating a diet that is low in sugar. Juices and sodas should be avoided, along with sugary candies and baked goods. Instead, the expectant mother should drink water and eat a diet that is full of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and fiber.