While many of us have heard the ridiculous myth that calcium is lost from your teeth during pregnancy and another myth that claims “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy,” it is true that you might experience some changes in your oral health. These changes are primarily due to a surge in certain hormones, specifically progesterone and estrogen, and can exaggerate the way your gums react to the plaque on your teeth.
If the plaque on your teeth and under your gums isn’t removed, it can lead to gingivitis, which causes swollen, red, tender gums that are more likely to bleed. Commonly referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis,” most women experience it to some degree, and it can surface as early as two months into your pregnancy.
Pregnant women are also susceptible to pregnancy tumors, which are inflammatory, non-cancerous growths that can develop when gums become swollen and irritated. Normally, these tumors are left alone and go away on their own once your baby is born. However, if the tumor is uncomfortable or interferes in talking or eating, your Austin dentist may elect to remove it.
You can prevent the issues of gingivitis by practicing good oral hygiene and keeping your teeth clean. Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and after every meal, if possible. We also recommend flossing thoroughly every day. If you find that brushing your teeth causes morning sickness, try rinsing your mouth with water or with a fluoride and antiplaque mouthwash.
Good oral health is essential during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or will become pregnant soon, it’s important that you let your Austin dentist know.