While you make a lot of effort to take care of your body during pregnancy, one thing that often gets neglected is your dental health.
From gingivitis to granuloma, the hormonal changes during pregnancy can trigger a number of oral problems that can cause a lot of discomfort and pain. The common ones are:
1. Pregnancy Gingivitis
A rise in the levels of the hormone progesterone (almost 10 times higher than normal) results in the growth of certain bacteria, causing pregnancy gingivitis, symptoms of which are bleeding and swelling of gums. The gums are redder and feel more tender than usual, causing an increase in tooth sensitivity.
2. Pregnancy Granuloma
Almost two to 10 percent 0f pregnant women notice a growth or tumor in their gums, a condition known as pyogenic granuloma. Though they can cause discomfort, they are harmless and not even categorized as real tumors.
Granuloma tumors(or ulcers) look like red nodules that mostly appear around the upper gum line, but can also be seen in other parts of the mouth. They usually appear during the second trimester and cause bleeding.
While hormonal changes can lead to pregnancy granuloma, a poor oral hygiene is the primary cause. If you have pregnancy granuloma, your chances of pregnancy gingivitis can also increase. However, the symptoms fade away once your baby is born.
3. Dry Mouth
A dry mouth is another problem that affects many pregnant women and can stem from medication or a rise in the pregnancy hormones. (Also read: Follow These Easy Tips To Moisten A Dry Mouth)
4. Tooth Erosion & Sensitivity
Severe vomiting and nausea during pregnancy cause an excess of gastric acid in your mouth causing tooth erosion. The erosion of the outer layer, or enamel, exposes the inner layer of your teeth, increasing teeth sensitivity.
Dental Care During Pregnancy
Though these conditions sound scary, a good oral hygiene can keep them under control. Here are a few tips you can follow:
- Don’t brush your teeth after you have vomited as it may scratch the tooth enamel. Wait for at least an hour.
- Use plain water to rinse your mouth and follow it with a fluoridated mouthwash.
- Alternatively, you can dab some fluoridated toothpaste on your teeth and rinse it later with plain water. Fluoride helps reduce tooth decay.
- Brush twice a day (morning and evening) and use dental floss to clean any food particles that may be stuck in between your teeth.
- Avoid sugary and sticky foods, even if you crave for them as they can cause tooth decay. Snack on fruits, dried nuts and other healthy foods to satiate those mid-meal hunger pangs.
While you must stay away from dental treatments in your first trimester, you can start your regular dental checkups once you enter your second trimester. Visit a doctor if you have any of the above problems.
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