Over the course of your pregnancy your body is going to experience a flood of hormone level changes, and this is going to affect you more than you may realize. One of the most common ways this may affect you during your pregnancy is bleeding or sensitive gums.
This is caused by higher than normal progesterone levels and the result is that your gums will react more than they would usually to the bacteria found in plaque. There is also an increase in your blood volume during your pregnancy and this may mean that you may experience bleeding gums when you brush or floss. While you are pregnant it is especially important to practice good oral hygiene as this will affect around half of the pregnant women around the world.
Can Gum Disease Affect Your Pregnancy?
Yes, it can – because of the increase of blood to your body and the increased hormone levels your body you can be more prone to gingivitis if you do not care for your teeth and gums correctly. This itself can then develop into periodontitis – which is a serious form of gum disease in which the infection goes beyond your gums into the bone and other tissue that support your teeth.
Quite simply this is a major concern for pregnant women. There are been some studies which have shown that women who suffer from either sever gingivitis or periodontitis are certainly more prone to preeclampsia and even to premature labor.
Can You Prevent This From Happening?
As with most medical issues, the first step is prevention. The best way to prevent any gum or oral hygiene issues is to do the following:
- Brush thoroughly but gently at least twice a day
- Floss daily
- Get regular dental care
- Eat a healthy diet
When Should You Call Your Dentist?
When you visit your dentist you should inform him/her that you are pregnant as x-rays may not be safe during pregnancy.
If you experience any tooth ache, bleeding or sensitive gums then you should definitely make an appointment to see your dentist. Treatment for any of the common oral hygine issues will definitely reduce the risk which is placed on both you and your baby that may be associated with either sever gingivitis or periodontitis.
Having local anesthesia, such as novocaine, for dental work is safe throughout pregnancy. And if antibiotics are needed, there are pregnancy-safe ones to choose from.