There are many increased demands placed on a woman‘s body when she’s pregnant that go far beyond the morning sickness and back pain. Many health concerns crop up during this time because so many of the body’s resources are being funneled towards the development and health of the baby that you’re carrying. This can, often times, lead to health concerns with pregnant women because their body simply isn’t producing enough of certain things to ensure their health and wellness.
Pregnancy is a time when you need to take extra care of yourself because, along with increased hormone levels, your body can become extra sensitive to disease and bacteria. This issue is especially apparent as far as dental hygiene is concerned.
Prenatal vitamins are like steroids for your immune system and are essential to not only the mother’s health, but the baby’s as well. You’ll still need to take several steps towards ensuring that your teeth don’t suffer during this time. A pregnant woman, at this time, becomes highly susceptible to developing certain dental infections and the gums become extra sensitive to foreign bacteria. Keeping regular dental appointments during this time is very important.
Gingivitisis one of the most common concerns and affects nearly half of women during their pregnancy. Though any person, man or woman, can have issues with this gingivitis, it becomes an issue of increasing concern during this time. Gingivitis is caused when bacteria forms around your teeth and gums. This happens to everyone when they eat food, but pregnant women are at greater risk of this because they have increased levels of progesterone and estrogen in their body. This, in turn, increases the blood flow through the body and gums.
Pregnancy gingivitis will cause your gums to become red, puffy, and inflamed. If you notice any bleeding in your gums when you’re brushing or flossing, you should consult a dentist or doctor.
Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease. This is the next progression from gingivitis and is a severe infection of the gums. This can destroy bones and fibers in your mouth that keep your teeth in place. It has some pretty serious side effects such as bleeding, tooth loss, and massive infection. This concern is of particular note during pregnancy because it can increase a woman’s risk for preterm labor and low birth weight for babies.
In general, tooth and facial discomfort should always be monitored closely, as sometimes these symptoms can be caused by more complex conditions, such as hemifacial spasms resulting from trigeminal neuralgia. If you suspect a more serious condition may be causing your teeth issues, consult a dentist or a specialist at the Skull Base Institute.
If you’re pregnant, or planning to become pregnant down the road, you should speak with a dentist and discuss the best approaches for your dental health. If you don’t already have a dentist, then look through your local directories for one. If cost is a concern, there are many that will charge on a sliding scale according to your financial need and household income. It’s important that you take every step to ensure the health of your teeth. If not for you then consider the side-affects that inaction could have on your baby.