When a woman becomes pregnant, virtually every aspect of her health is affected. While many women do not realize this until they go through pregnancy, this includes their oral health. At the general dentistry practice of John M. Pinnix, DMD, and George A. Betancourt, DMD, we are pleased to offer exceptional dental care to expectant mothers, in addition to the education they need to understand the changes that are occurring in their mouths during their pregnancies.
By supplying our expecting patients with the information they need regarding dental care and pregnancy during consultations at our Charleston office, we are able to help them maintain healthy teeth and gums during a time when they are vulnerable to gum disease and other serious oral problems. It is our hope to establish partnerships in good dental health with these patients that will last beyond their pregnancies and lead them to bring their children into the practice when the time comes.
If you are currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant, our friendly and experienced dental team would welcome the opportunity to meet with you at your earliest convenience, as well.
What happens to your mouth during pregnancy?
In a word: hormones. The same hormonal changes that affect every other part of the body during pregnancy also affect the mouth, making it more susceptible to infection and disease. Pregnant women are more likely to develop a variety of oral health issues, including:
- Enamel erosion: This is especially common among women who experience morning sickness and other pregnancy-related nausea. The enamel that protects the teeth can become eroded by vomit and acid reflux.
- Granulomas: Although these growths that form on the gums are more annoying than harmful, they are extremely common during pregnancy - so much so that they are widely known as “pregnancy tumors.”
- Dry mouth syndrome: Many women experience decreased saliva production during pregnancy, leading to dry mouth syndrome. This can lead to bad breath and, more problematically, gum disease.
- Gum disease: This is the most common and potentially dangerous of all oral health problems associated with pregnancy. In its latter stages, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, gum recession, and even loss of jaw bone density.
How to Avoid Dental Problems during Pregnancy
Fortunately, most of the above oral health problems can be avoided or at least minimized if you take the proper precautions. For example, you should:
- Eat healthy, avoiding sugary and acidic foods, including sodas, salad dressings, berries, vinegar, tomatoes and tomato sauces, and citrus fruits.
- Using a soft-bristled tooth brush with gentle force, brush at least twice a day and after every meal.
- Floss twice a day and use an antimicrobial mouth rinse.
- Stay properly hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- Visit our general practice early in your pregnancy and as often as recommended by Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt.
Learn More about Dental Care and Pregnancy
To learn more about dental care and pregnancy, or to schedule your initial consultation with one of our esteemed dentists, please contact Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney today.