Pregnancy can have an effect on oral health, as hormonal changes can make the gums more sensitive and susceptible to infection. Here are some ways pregnancy can affect oral health:
- Pregnancy gingivitis: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause inflammation of the gums, known as pregnancy gingivitis. This can cause the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily.
- Tooth decay: Pregnant women may experience morning sickness, which can lead to increased acid in the mouth. This can cause tooth erosion, and can make teeth more susceptible to decay.
- Dry mouth: Some pregnant women may experience dry mouth, which can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay and infection.
- Pregnancy tumors: Some women may develop benign growths in the mouth called pregnancy tumors (pyogenic granulomas) during pregnancy, these are usually located on the gums and are caused by hormonal changes.
- Delayed dental treatment: Pregnant women may be hesitant to undergo dental treatment due to concerns about the safety of the procedures for themselves and the baby, but proper oral health is important for both mother and baby.
It’s important for pregnant women to maintain good oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting the dentist regularly. It’s also important for pregnant women to inform their dentist of their pregnancy so they can be advised on appropriate treatments. Regular dental check-ups can help to detect and treat any oral health problems that may arise during pregnancy.