- by Motherhood Hospital
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- Feb 09 2017
Importance of Oral Hygiene during Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an important phase in the life of a woman and brings with it numerous physical changes. While most of these changes are needed to assist foetal development and to prepare the body for labour, increased hormonal levels during pregnancy can also intensify dental problems. Therefore, maintaining dental hygiene becomes increasingly essential during pregnancy.
Common dental problems during pregnancy
Pregnant women commonly experience swollen or bleeding gums when they brush their teeth. If you have an existing gum disease it might get elevated during pregnancy. Gingivitis is an alarmingly common occurrence in pregnant women. If proper care is taken to curb gingivitis during pregnancy, it is likely to reduce or end after childbirth. Periodontal gum disease is another gum disease that can have adverse effects on a pregnancy.
The periodontal gum disease causes infections in the gums and the bones. If left untreated, it can cause loss of tooth or teeth. You could even develop pus filled sacs known as abscesses that are quite painful. According to medical research, the bacterium contains a chemical known as prostaglandin which enters the bloodstream and affects the foetus, potentially increasing the risk of pre-term labour. Another study suggests that there is also an increased risk of preeclampsia in women who suffer from periodontal disease.
Tips to maintain oral health
It is very important to maintain good oral health when you are planning a pregnancy or as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
Many recent studies indicate a strong link between oral health and pregnancy complications like low birth weight and preterm delivery. If you are pregnant, you should consider visiting your dentist to treat any gum related problems. Make sure you inform the dentist that you are pregnant so that you receive treatments and medications that are safe for pregnant women.
- Avoid consumption of anything that you feel can worsen your gum condition
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth in order to remove the existing plaque. Brush twice daily.
- Floss your teeth at least thrice a week. This will help remove trapped food and plaque between the teeth.
- Use a dentist recommended mouth-wash with anti-microbial properties to prevent gingivitis.
- Adopt a healthy diet.
- Treat any existing tooth decay and other problems before it worsens.
- Do not share food or utensils with others while pregnant to avoid the transmission of bacteria that causes tooth decay.
- Get regular dental check-ups during pregnancy.
Once you are confident that you are following a good and healthy dental routine, you can sit back and enjoy the most precious moments of your life.
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