If you are pregnant, or planning to make a new addition to the family, the constant barrage of health concerns can be overwhelming. Eat this, stay away from that, it seems like everyone has an opinion on what is beneficial for you and what is dangerous. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you are gathering your information from a trusted source. It’s always best to keep an open line of discussion with your health providers at this time.
We often overlook the importance of our gums and minimize the role they play in keeping our mouths safe. But this time places us at a distinct risk of periodontal disease, or the infection and inflammation of this tissue. Today, your Bellaire, TX dentist explains what to keep any eye out for while expecting, and how best to protect your smile!
Amazing Changes, Hazardous Results
Throughout a pregnancy, the body will change immensely. So much so that your pelvis even realigns to better accommodate birth. That isn’t even close to being the end of it, either. Your immune system radically alters itself to both protect the child, as well as allow for the growth!
This is very helpful in pregnancy, as our immune system could otherwise destroy an embryo, as it would be viewed as an intruder with foreign DNA. But this also means that there are other areas of the body where the immune system has pulled back in order to focus on the task at hand.
Unfortunately, our mouths are a prime area for this to occur. And this also means that the risk of periodontal disease, or gum disease, increases significantly while expecting. Gum disease is a serious condition in which bacterial infection has become embedded in your tissue.
The initial phase before this, is gingivitis, the inflammation and swelling of the gums. The tissue may also be tender or even bleed during brushing. This is a milder form of gum disease, and we see it most often in those with poor oral hygiene. But the restructured immune system in those having a child means that the normal autoimmune response is lacking, and thus, you need to pay particular care of your smile during this time.
You Have Control
We understand that you have a lot going on right now, and maybe visiting a dentist seems like something that you could put off for a bit. At least until the baby arrives!
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Hormonal shifts in your body put your oral health at a much greater risk for issues. So now is a time for schedules, and planning. Dentists like to see their pregnant patients in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. Speak with your oral health professional about their preferred time, and heed their instructions!
And always be sure to follow a thorough and rigorous home oral health routine. Twice-daily brushing, coupled with flossing and a daily oral rinse, is imperative. Those nightly cravings might be hard to resist, and if so, just be sure to brush your teeth again afterward. Sleeping with food particles between your teeth gives them hours of uninterrupted time to grow and multiply!
Keep Your Smile Beautiful While Expecting
Don’t try to go through a pregnancy on your own. If you have questions about how your pregnancy may affect your smile, then please reach out to Contemporary Dental And Orthodontics at 713-668-9119.