Pregnancy And Avoiding Common Oral Health Issues
If you are a woman who intends on becoming pregnant in the near future, then you should know that certain oral and dental problems can pop up. These issues are not only annoying, but they can affect you and your child. Keep reading to learn about a few common issues and what you can do to try to avoid them.
Gum disease is a huge issue for some women, especially if they have ever suffered from gingivitis or other types of gum issues in the past. During pregnancy, blood flow substantially increased across the entirety of the body. This leads to a substantial surge in blood flowing through the gums, and you may experience some inflammation and tenderness because of it. When you place pressure on your gums, like when you brush your teeth, the gums are likely to bleed due to the increase in blood flow. As the gums bleed, the small capillaries open up and form small holes. Bacteria can work their way into these openings and cause an infection.
You can avoid infections by watching for signs of gum bleeding. This is most likely to occur during the second trimester when the cardiac output increases. Once you see bleeding, switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush the gums and the teeth with it. Switch to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and gums as well and use a mouthwash if you see the gums bleeding to ensure that the tissues are clean and free of bacteria. Use an alcohol-free mouthwash to avoid burning sensations around sensitive gum tissue as well.
During your first trimester, you may feel nauseous due to the surging hormones in your body. This is normal and common, but many women vomit. If you vomit, then the acids in your stomach will come into contact with the dental enamel, and this enamel will start to erode. Erosion leads to thinning enamel and the formation of cavities. There are several things you can do to avoid cavity formation. First, you want to reduce your nausea. One trick is to eat saltine crackers in the morning before getting out of bed. This will curb the feelings of sickness in the morning. Also, try to stay away from greasy foods that can lead to indigestion and drink more water. If you do vomit, you want to brush your teeth as soon as possible to remove the acidic debris from the enamel. Also, make sure to consume as much calcium as possible so the teeth can be remineralized if erosion does occur.
If you become pregnant, talk to a dentist about women's health in general and your oral health.