During your pregnancy, you are focused on keeping yourself healthy so that you can support your developing baby. While it is important to watch your activity level, weight, and diet, it is also important to continue caring for your oral health during your pregnancy. Your oral health is tied to your overall health. Keeping regular appointments with your dentist during your pregnancy helps to keep your oral tissues healthy and can also help you to address the new concerns that pop up during pregnancy. Here are three oral health concerns that pop up during pregnancy.
X-rays during pregnancy
You need to take extra precautions to protect your developing baby from x-ray radiation during pregnancy. However, that does not mean that you cannot have a dental x-ray during your pregnancy. Talk to your dentist about how far along you are in your pregnancy when making your appointment. You also want to make sure that you are not uncomfortable sitting for long periods in the dentist's chair; therefore, it is ideal to have your appointment before the end of your second trimester. A leaded apron and a protective thyroid collar worn during dental x-rays protect your baby from radiation, allowing your dentist to use an important diagnostic tool for your oral health.
Increased incidence of cavities
Pregnant women tend to suffer from an increased incidence of cavities. There are a number of reasons for this. Hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy increase cavity rates, and women produce less saliva while they are pregnant. This makes your mouth far more acidic, which puts you at risk for developing more cavities. During pregnancy, you are also more likely to experience intense food cravings, leading you to eat more acidic, sugary foods that can leave residues behind on your teeth. The best thing you can do is keep appointments with your doctor, brush your teeth frequently, and drink fluoridated water to re-mineralize your teeth.
A surge of gingivitis
During pregnancy, hormonal changes and fluctuations can also cause you to experience a surge of symptoms related to gingivitis. An increased level of progesterone makes it easier for the bacteria that causes gingivitis to grow in your mouth, leaving you with bleeding and swollen gums. Do your best to keep your mouth clean. Also make sure that you are eating and drinking foods that alleviate the symptoms of gingivitis, such as green tea. Green tea helps to reduce inflammation in your gums.
For more information, contact Kappenman Family Dental or a similar location.