You may have heard that dental problems are more prevalent for pregnant women. This is actually true – pregnancy gingivitis is a real condition. A lot of changes occur in the body when a woman is pregnant, and some of them increase the production of cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Understanding some of the causes and solutions of this condition can help when you or a loved one is living with it.
It’s no secret that pregnancy causes chaotic changes in hormones within the body. This is reflected by changes to personality and mood, cravings, and an increase in bacteria production in the mouth. Specifically, pregnancy causes a spike in progesterone which creates conditions that are ripe for gingivitis to develop in the mouth.
In addition to the increased progesterone levels that allow extra bacteria to gather in the mouth, certain other factors can also jeopardize your oral health while pregnant.
Many women experience some degree of morning sickness during pregnancy. This can complicate oral health because the acid released during morning sickness is terrible for the teeth. To keep it from rotting away your enamel throughout the course of the day, make sure to brush thoroughly after bouts of morning sickness.
One of the traits that is closely associated with pregnancy is intense cravings. Often, these cravings will be for sweets, breads, pasta, and other carbohydrates. While everyone knows that excessive sugar is bad for the teeth, few realize that bread is similarly damaging. If you’re pregnant, be aware of your cravings, and ensure that you brush your teeth after eating foods rich in sugar or acids.
When you get pregnant, it’s inevitable that your hormones will undergo changes, but it’s not inevitable that you’ll get gingivitis. Keep these tips in mind to optimize your chances of avoiding pregnancy gingivitis.
The last thing you want to do when you have gingivitis is spread it to your kids, spouse, or other loved ones. Although gingivitis starts in your mouth, it can spread out and affect others who use your toothbrush. It’s never a good idea to share your toothbrush, especially when you have gingivitis.
The best way to keep pregnancy gingivitis at bay is to maintain a high standard of oral care. This typically means brushing your teeth for 2-minutes per session twice per day and flossing once each day. Ensuring that you’re keeping up with your oral care and never skipping a brushing session is a great way to minimize damage from gingivitis.
Not all foods are bad for your teeth. You don’t have to worry about your teeth as much when you’ve had a snack of carrots and apples as you will after you’ve had a slice of cheesecake. One way to maximize your oral health is to be aware of the times you eat sugary foods and make sure to clean your teeth afterwards. If you’re already dealing with pregnancy gingivitis, you don’t need additional problems from eating junk food as well.
If you’re near San Antonio, Texas and pregnant, it’s worth your time to drop by our office for an exam. The increased levels of progesterone cause about half of pregnant women to develop the condition. Dr. Reger will examine your unique situation, and make a recommendation for treatment. Don’t wait and let the perils of gingivitis worsen – Help is readily available! Contact our office today.