Pregnancy is something that greatly affects your body for nine months, but it can have lifelong effects too. Additionally, pregnancy has effects on many parts of the body, including your mouth. During pregnancy, you will need to take extra care of your teeth, as this time in your life can have negative effects on the health of your teeth and mouth. Here are several things to understand about pregnancy and the effects it has on your oral health.
Pregnancy increases the chances of developing gingivitis
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, and gingivitis will only worsen if left untreated. When you are pregnant, you have a higher risk of developing gingivitis, and you should seek help from a dentist if you begin noticing any changes in your gums, as these changes could indicate gum disease. Gingivitis during pregnancy is extremely common, and it often starts by the second or third month of pregnancy. Dentists believe that this condition is common during pregnancy due to the changes in hormones in the body. These hormonal changes can lead to excess bacteria in the mouth, and this is what will often cause the gingivitis. If you notice that your gums are swollen, red, or bleeding, visit a dentist.
Pregnancy increases the risk of cavities
Because there are so many hormonal changes during pregnancy along with an increase in bacteria in the mouth, a pregnant woman has a higher chance of developing cavities than a person who is not pregnant. Again, watch out for any teeth that seem more sensitive than the others—cavities could be developing. Visit a dentist to get that taken care of.
Dental visits are safe during pregnancy
Visiting a dentist while you are pregnant is completely safe; however, you should let your dentist know that you are pregnant. Some dentists will still take X-rays during pregnancy, while others may recommend taking them only if they are absolutely necessary. You can get your teeth cleaned, cavities filled, and other types of work done during pregnancy, and you should if you would like to keep your mouth healthy. You can talk to your doctor about this, and you can also talk to your dentist to find out what steps you should take during this time to protect your oral health.
If you recently discovered that you are pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about your oral health, and you should visit a dentist in your area for a checkup.
For more information about dental cleanings when you're pregnant, contact a dentist like those at the Family Dentistry of Woodstock.