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Pregnancy and oral health care

Pregnancy is that phase when there are a plethora of hormonal changes in a woman's body leading to an increased risk of dental problems.

Here are some tips to help you keep your dental problems at bay and enjoy your special moments:

-During pregnancy, the hormones progesterone and estrogen are higher than normal, hence women are more susceptible to gum problems during this period.

-The most commonly occurring gum disease at this point is gingivitis, which is caused by the formation of a layer/film of plaque on the tooth surfaces.

Symptoms of gingivitis:

-Tenderness of gms

-Bleeding gums

-Reddish discoloration of gums

-Swollen gums

Gingivitis when not treated on time may lead to periodontitis and furthermore cause bone loss and ultimately loosening of teeth which may require extraction.

-Pyogenic granuloma or pregnancy tumor is a large swelling of gums between two teeth that occurs during pregnancy when there is excess plaque formed leading to bacterial invasion.

This granuloma is often harmless and disappears on its own after pregnancy.

-As pregnancy increases certain hormones, there is an increased risk of decay. Other reasons for decay may include improper brushing due to tiredness, gum pain, or nausea.

-Increased acid reflux and vomiting during pregnancy lead to acid attack on tooth surfaces causing loss of enamel layer which may lead to tooth sensitivity.

Measures to avoid these occurrences:

-Brushing and regular flossing of teeth, twice daily.

-Rinsing of mouth with an anti-microbial mouth wash if brushing is not possible.

-Dental check-up prior to planning to pregnancy to avoid worsening of dental problems.

-The second trimester, which is from the 13th week up to the 20th week of pregnancy is considered the safest time for dental treatment, and hence any treatment should be carried out during this phase.

-In case of acid reflux, regular use of antacid or mouth wash is a must.

-Inform your dentist if a dental x-ray is recommended if there is a chance of you being pregnant.(As x-rays radiation may be harmful to the fetus and use of a lead apron is mandatory,)

-In case of toothache, visit your dentist t the earliest to get your treatment done and prevent complications.

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