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Are Pregnant Women More at Risk for Periodontal Disease?

Posted by: Dr. Sirakian     Categories: Dentistry, Oral Health


During pregnancy, it’s more common for women to experience problems with their gums and teeth. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause sensitive teeth and gum swelling and bleeding.

Because of the changes to oral health during pregnancy, it is very important for pregnant women to practice good oral health care and to visit their dentist regarding any oral health issues that may arise. This can help prevent further damage to gums and teeth.

If you do not get treated for your problems with your teeth and gums then periodontitis can occur. During periodontal or gum disease, the gum pulls away the teeth and form pockets that later become infected. If periodontal disease is left untreated, it can result in tooth loss. Here are some potential symptoms, and how you can prevent them.

1. Pregnancy gingivitis

The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy allow for bacteria to grow more easily in the mouth and in the gums. Since there are more bacteria in your mouth, there is an increased chance of periodontitis. Because your gums may be bleeding, receding, or sensitive, the bacteria have easier access to eat away at your gums.

Brushing with a soft-bristled brush and not brushing too aggressively can help. By brushing twice a day and flossing, you are eradicating damaging plaque and bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth. A soft-bristled brush can help prevent bleeding which is common due to the additional amount of blood you have in your body.

2. Nausea and vomiting

Morning sickness is common for most pregnant women and can harm teeth. The stomach acids that also come up when vomiting can damage your enamel. When the enamel is broken down, it is easier for acid and bacteria to attack teeth. This can cause sensitivity and decay.

Try chewing sugarless gum that contains xylitol to decrease the amount of plaque and acids on your teeth. Also try using a toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride.

While gum and teeth changes during pregnancy are painful, there are things you can do to alleviate the pain. Discuss additional options with your dentist to prevent any further damage to teeth and gums.

Feb
24

Alligators and Dental Science?

Did you know alligators can replace each of their teeth up to 50 times in their life? Humans are unique among vertebrates for being able to replace our teeth only once. But new insights into how alligators replace their teeth may help stimulate the same process in ours. Professor Cheng-Ming Chuong, M.D., Ph.D., has discovered […]

Feb
24

Fruits for Whiter Teeth?

Recently hailed as an inexpensive and organic alternative to teeth whitening, fruit concoctions have arisen as the new way to get those pearly whites. But is there any truth to all these claims? A study at the University of Iowa points to “No”. Associate Professor So Ran Kwon tested homemade strawberry-baking soda mix, over the […]

Feb
16

BPA Exposure Affects Young Teeth

From the moment they erupt in our mouths as children, our teeth play a major part in our lives. As such, it’s essential to care for them well during childhood and continuing into adulthood. In a recent study done with lab rats, it was found that when teeth were exposed to BPA, “there were multiple […]

Oct
28

Wax On vs. Wax Off

If you’ve ever shopped for dental floss – and you really should – you may have noticed that there are two varieties of nylon floss sold: waxed and unwaxed. Although most people prefer the sturdiness of floss coated in wax, many find that the added layer of wax can sometimes be difficult to comfortably fit […]

Oct
23

What Your Bone Type Could Mean For Dental Implant Treatment

“It depends.” That’s probably an answer you will often hear if you’re considering getting dental implants. This is because there are so many things to consider when placing a dental implant. One of the many considerations that your dentist needs to take into account before placing a dental implant is what type of bone you […]

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