Health

Oral Healthcare During Pregnancy

Dr Ritu Kumari Gupta
Pregnancy

Created by Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Updated on Sep 24, 2018

 Oral Healthcare During Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings with it so many physical changes. And we’re careful about various things – balanced diet, exercise, and so on. However, there’s one aspect that many of us forget, or don’t believe is significant – and that’s oral health! Yes, your teeth and mouth need extra care, too. Read on to find out why you need good oral care during pregnancy, and what you can do.

Importance Of Oral Healthcare During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, due to an increase in estrogen and progesterone hormones, mothers may experience changes in their oral health. Gum disease, bleeding gums, and sensitivity are some of the common complaints they may suffer from. Here are some concerns faced by expecting mothers:

  1. Pregnancy gingivitis:

    it is a condition characterized by red, swollen and tender gums. Bleeding gums can lead to discomfort and pain
  2. Periodontitis:

    It is a more critical form of gum disease. Sometimes, when left untreated, gingivitis may lead to periodontitis
  3. Ulcers and other growth:

    Besides gingivitis a pregnant woman is also at risk of ulcers, tumors and non-cancerous growth in the mouth
  4. Tooth mobility:

    During pregnancy, sometimes, ligaments and bones that support the teeth loosen and thus result in tooth mobility
  5. Dental caries:

    Increased acidity and intake of sugary snacks may result in dental caries
  6. Tooth erosion:

    Vomiting and morning sickness increases exposure to gastric acid and thus may result in tooth erosion

Tips For Oral Healthcare During Pregnancy

A bit of extra care is all it takes to get your oral health back on track. Here are some tips:

  1. Routine dental checkup:

    This can be done anytime while you are pregnant. Give your dentist details of medications including names and doses so that dental treatment can be planned accordingly. Do keep your obstetrician in the loop for any dental treatment you take
  2. Precaution with x-rays:

    If dental x-ray is needed, it can be done under expert supervision and with precautions - the dentist is required to shield your abdomen and thyroid to safeguard you and baby
  3. Follow basic dental hygiene routine:

    These are some simple steps you can follow:
    • Brush your teeth daily before going to bed, and in the morning
    • Use a brush with soft bristles
    • Clean the gum lines
    • Floss each day
    • Use fluoride toothpaste if possible
  4. Morning sickness:

    In case brushing aggravates morning sickness, rinse mouth with water and have a sip of some non-sugary drink before brushing
  5. Rinse thoroughly:

    Remember to rinse your mouth properly after vomiting
  6. A healthy and balanced diet:

    Avoid snacks rich in sugar. Add milk, cheese, banana, curd and other calcium-rich foods to your diet. Avoid food that causes flatulence and are acidic in nature. Minimize intake of fast food
  7. Protect teeth from erosion:

    To prevent tooth erosion, rinse mouth with 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 cup of water
  8. Tackle reflux:

    Ask your doctor to prescribe antacid in last semester of pregnancy for relief from gastric reflux

Some Points To Note:

With the above mentioned steps, you should not have too much trouble in your pregnancy with your dental health. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

  1. In case of any changes in your gum talk to your dentist
  2. During pregnancy, calcium needed for the development of the baby is supplied by our diet, so it is just a myth that calcium leaches from teeth during pregnancy
  3. If there are any elective procedures to be done, it is better they are postponed

Did you find the blog on oral healthcare during pregnancy, useful? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!

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| Jun 27, 2018

using baking soda no problem!!!

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| Mar 01, 2018

very beneficial tips. many thanks for this write up!

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| Jun 22, 2016

Important oral healthcare tips that are generally neglected during pregnancy.

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| May 18, 2016

Quite useful tips for expecting mommies.

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