Pregnancy can be an exciting yet anxious time, with many things to think about. Whilst choosing a name, painting the nursery, and working out a birth plan may all be at the forefront of your mind, it can be easy to forget about visiting the dentist. However, taking care of your oral health during pregnancy is vitally important – for you and for baby, too.
YourOcDentist provides free NHS dental treatment for pregnant patients. It’s important to monitor your dental health along with other changes in your body during pregnancy, and to contact your dentist promptly if you experience anything strange.
There are certain conditions that pregnant women are more prone to developing. One of the most common is gingivitis, or gum disease. Pregnancy gingivitis is characterised by swollen, reddened gums that may bleed when you brush your teeth or bite into crunchy foods such as apples.
Gum disease is common in pregnant patients because of hormonal changes in the body. Levels of the hormone progesterone can be up to ten times higher than normal when you are pregnant, and this affects how your body reacts to toxins – including dental plaque.
By visiting your dentist you can have all traces of plaque removed, and can gain valuable advice on how to manage the condition.
If you suffer from severe morning sickness, which is very common in the first trimester of pregnancy and is often one of the ways people learn that a new arrival is on the way, your teeth can suffer from enamel erosion. Again, this requires prompt intervention from a dentist, because otherwise tooth sensitivity can become a problem.
Another common dental complaint among pregnant women is pregnancy granuloma. In this condition, red nodules appear spontaneously on the gums, most frequently in the upper jaw. Whilst these nodules are harmless, they can be frightening if you haven’t experienced them before, and can sometimes cause discomfort or pain.
They usually drop off soon after baby arrives, although if they are causing you pain your dentist may painlessly remove them.
By visiting your dentist during pregnancy, you can gain reassurance and any necessary treatment, so that you can get back to focus on the new addition to the family.