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If you are expecting a baby, don’t forget to see your dentist! Finding a good obstetrician is not the only important thing you can do when you are pregnant, as your oral health can impact the health of your unborn baby. Schedule an appointment especially if it has been awhile since your last checkup and cleaning.

Increased estrogen and progesterone production can deteriorate your periodontal health because of the way your gum tissue reacts to plaque during pregnancy. A dental cleaning removes harmful plaque and tartar, protecting the health of your teeth and gums.

Gum disease, or gingivitis, develops in pregnant women as the gums react to the increase in hormonal changes by swelling and bleeding when brushing and flossing. This type of gum disease can start in the second month of pregnancy and last through the eighth month. The good news is that it will stop after your baby is born and your hormones go back to normal.

If you already have bleeding or swollen gums, this is the best time to ramp up your brushing and flossing routine. You will also want one of our skilled dentists to remove hardened tartar with a thorough dental cleaning.

Women with pregnancy gingivitis can experience pre-term delivery and low birth weight babies. This happens when bacteria from infected gums travels through the bloodstream to the uterus, inducing labor by triggering prostaglandins. To prevent this from even being a possibility, you will want to provide your teeth and gums with the best oral care possible.

Pregnancy “tumors” develop in the mouth in 2%-10% of women during pregnancy. These non-cancerous tumors grow between the teeth and gums. They grow because of the buildup of plaque and eventually shrink back down after giving birth. While uncomfortable, they are not actually dangerous.

How to Protect Your Oral Health:

Morning Sickness
If you have morning sickness, it is important not to brush your teeth right after vomiting, because the acids in your mouth can erode your tooth enamel. Try swishing your mouth with a solution of baking soda and water to lower the pH levels before brushing your teeth after vomiting.

Oral Hygiene
Throughout your pregnancy, you will want to maintain a conscientious oral hygiene routine. Brush and floss your pearly whites and gum line at least twice each day. Use an antibacterial mouthwash to help lower plaque, and see your dentist for a dental cleaning.

Diet
If you haven’t already, build healthy eating habits by avoiding excessive sugar and starch consumption which only feeds the bacteria causing dental plaque to proliferate. A balanced diet with leafy greens, vegetables, lean proteins, and fresh fruit can keep your teeth and gums healthy along with your developing baby.

Hydration
Drink plenty of water to stimulate saliva production by creating a healthy environment for your teeth and gums. Hydration helps you avoid dry mouth which can cause plaque to build up, triggering an increase in cavities.

Taking good care of your oral health while pregnant is good for both you and your baby. At Lakeland Dental Care we are ready to help you on your journey. Contact our caring staff at 601-981-8166 and we will help you have a healthy, happy pregnancy!