AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Over the course of a woman’s pregnancy, her oral health can change significantly as her body adjusts to fluctuating hormone levels. According to a study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry, a woman can develop gingivitis, pregnancy tumors, and moderate to severe swelling of the gums during pregnancy. These oral health problems can present serious challenges to the health of an unborn child, and could lead to premature delivery or low birth weight. To help keep your teeth and baby healthy, here’s what every expecting mother should know about pregnancy and her oral health.

Pregnancy new How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health

Pregnancy and Gum Disease

Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, during pregnancy can lead to gum inflammation and redness, bleeding after brushing or flossing, and loose teeth. The majority of women will experience some degree of gingivitis during pregnancy. While inflammation and bleeding of the gums is often noted during every trimester of pregnancy, the conditions typically subside three to six months following delivery, as long as a woman continues to practice proper oral hygiene.

A woman can greatly reduce her risk of developing gum disease during pregnancy by scheduling a dental care appointment prior to conception. A pre-pregnancy dental visit will provide your family dentist with the opportunity to examine the health of your teeth and gums, and look for any potential signs of disease. If spotted, your dentist can work to correct any issues found.

Studies have shown that failing to address gum disease either prior to or during pregnancy greatly increases a woman’s risk of premature delivery, in addition to a number of gender specific health issues, such as bone loss and hormonal imbalance.

Pregnancy Tumors

Approximately 10 percent of women suffer pregnancy tumors while expecting. Despite what the name suggests, pregnancy tumors are non-cancerous growths that develop in the mouth, and can remain for the duration of the pregnancy. These tumors generally appear as painless red or purples bumps located along the gum line. While pregnancy tumors don’t typically cause any discomfort, they can begin to bleed spontaneously after eating or brushing.

Occasionally pregnancy tumors will become painful, and cause a woman problems eating, drinking, and talking. In extreme cases of discomfort, surgery may be required to remove the tumor to ease symptoms. In most instances, pregnancy tumors will disappear shortly after delivery.

Gingival Enlargement

The clinical term for excessive swelling of the gums, gingival enlargement causes a woman’s gums to substantially increase in size. In extreme cases, a woman’s gums may actually completely overgrow her teeth. Health experts believe gingival enlargement is due to an increased reaction to bacteria by the body during pregnancy. Fortunately, the condition is much less frequent than either pregnancy tumors or gingivitis.

The best way to avoid the development of this particular condition is to maintain a rigorous oral hygiene regimen during pregnancy. In addition to brushing and flossing, talk with your dentist about the best strategies for maintaining and improving your oral health during pregnancy.

Remember, the healthier your mouth, the healthier you and your baby will remain.

About Author : John Nickelbottom is a freelance health and science writer.
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