Pregnancy is a whirlwind of life changing experiences and preparations for the future. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when oral health can suffer. In Burke, Dr. McMillan DDS explains why many mothers-to-be can experience problems with their teeth and gums during pregnancy.
1. Hormones—Pregnancy has been shown to cause significant hormonal changes in mothers. Studies show that pregnant women are at higher risk of suffering from swollen, bleeding gums when cleaning their teeth, and are more susceptible to developing gingivitis than women who are not expecting. If not treated, this can lead to infections of the teeth, gums and jawbone.
2. Snacking—Snacking between meals, particularly food and drink that contain high levels of sugar, is harmful to the teeth. The naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth use sugar as energy to multiply and stick to the surface of a tooth. This leads to plaque build-up and eventually to cavities.
3. Morning Sickness—A common side effect of pregnancy is an increase in nausea and vomiting. Stomach acid from throwing up can cause extensive damage to the enamel on the teeth, leading to tooth decay and other serious complications.
A lack of good oral hygiene can also affect the baby, with increased possibilities of a low birth weight and premature birth. It is vital to practice good oral hygiene at home, as well as make regular visits to your dentist. In Burke, Dr. McMillan DDS can provide you with the professional dental assistance you need to take care of you and your little bundle of joy on the way.