Pregnancy Oral Health Complications

According to the CDC, nearly 60-75% of pregnant women have gingivitis – which is an early stage of periodontal disease where the gums become red and swollen from inflammation due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. Gum inflammation typically occurs during the second trimester, and is likely to cause some swelling and bleeding, especially when flossing and brushing teeth. When left untreated, this gum disease may cause bone loss or severe gum infection.

Additionally, pregnant patients may experience morning sickness, which can coat the teeth with strong stomach acids. Over time, this stomach acid permanently damages the tooth’s enamel and increases the risk of tooth decay.

Your Oral Health May Affect Your Baby

Though it may not be top of mind during pregnancy, your oral health has an affect on your baby. According to the CDC, children born from someone with high levels of untreated cavities or tooth loss are three times more likely to have cavities as a child.

Additionally, mothers must consider the amount of school a child will miss given intense oral complications. The CDC reports that children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely to miss school because of dental pain.

Maintaining Good Oral Health During Pregnancy

Here are a few tips to maintain good oral health while being pregnant:

  • If you experience gum swelling or bleeding, do not stop your oral care routine, brushing, or flossing. Instead, find a small toothbrush with soft bristles. 
  • Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting. This can spread the harsh stomach acid across the teeth and gums. Wait roughly 30-60 minutes before brushing.
  • After vomiting, immediately rinse your mouth with water, nothing else.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after eating, especially if you’ve indulged in a sugar craving.
  • Visit your dentist and take care of any serious health complications before the problem progresses.

It is always a good idea to remind or inform your dentist that you are pregnant. Since there are many oral health complications that come along with pregnancy, informing your dentist is a good way to know you are taking the best care of your oral health in preparation for your baby.

At Printers Row Dental Studio and Chicago Veneers, Dr. Ema is a kind and gentle dentist who knows that treating oral health complications, especially while pregnant, can be a stressful task. Call Dr. Ema today to set up a consultation or book an appointment: (312) 435-0411.