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Hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy can lead to all kinds of seemingly unrelated health issues. Dental and gum problems are a serious problem during pregnancy in some cases, oral health issues can even result in premature labor!

Read on to find out how to take care of your teeth and gums while you are expecting. 

Dental care while trying to conceive

Treating dental and gum issues during pregnancy is more tricky for a variety of reasons. If you have ordinary cavities, having an X-ray is going to be a problem and even sitting in the dentist's chair for long periods of time becomes an issue later on in pregnancy. The need to take antibiotics after dental operations also means that it is better to carry such procedures out before pregnancy. If you are still trying to conceive at this point, move having a dental appointment onto your preconception to-do list right now. Having cavities filled, gums checked up on, and a confirmation that everything is on order with your teeth is another of those things that assure you that you will give your baby the best possible start in life!

Pregnancy gum problems

Gingivitis is a painful inflammation of the gums that can get worse if left untreated. Hormonal changes during pregnancy coupled with the fact that a pregnant woman's blood volume goes up by about 50 percent means that you are more likely to suffer from gingivitis once you are expecting a baby. Periodontal disease, a bacterial gum disease, can also be exacerbated by pregnancy. The potential for various gum problems is quite enough of a reason to continue having dental checkups while you are expecting. If you need any dental operation for periodontal disease or some other procedure, it is best to consult with your dentist as well as OBGYN. Together, you can determine if it is best to delay the treatment until after you give birth or to carry it out immediately. Keep in mind that studies show gum disease during pregnancy can trigger premature labor something that can mean a NICU stay for your baby, and health consequences that last for years.

Routine dental procedures when you are expecting

What if you didn't have a dental checkup during the preconception stage, and you wake up to a painful tooth one day? In most cases, you should simply go ahead and have the procedure done. Consult with your prenatal care provider if you feel the need, and ask for advice on how to make the procedure safest for both your baby and you. Lying on your back for long periods of time, as you may in a dental chair, can restrict the blood flow directed to the placenta and therefore your baby.

Talk to your dentist about getting up for a little walk every 15 minutes or so. There is no evidence that local anesthetics used to numb you for dental work have an adverse affect on your baby. Yet, some pregnant women prefer to forego anesthesia because of the worry that it may. X-rays are not a good idea during pregnancy at all. I had a root canal treatment done without x-rays while I was pregnant for this reason, but your dentist's approach will differ depending on the country you live in, and on your individual dental clinic. This is something to discuss before commencing any dental work, for sure.

Loose teeth? Yes, but not to worry

You may be shocked to find that several teeth feel loose and wiggly all of a sudden even when you have stayed free of gum disease during your pregnancy. This is a weird side effect of the pregnancy hormone progesterone, and your teeth will normally return to normal again after the birth of your baby. Do talk to your dentist about it if you are worried, however.

Dental hygiene routines

Bleeding and sensitive gums are pretty common among mothers to be, so how do you go about brushing your teeth? A soft brush is generally best, along with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Continue to brush your teeth twice a day for at least ten minutes, but feel free to be more gentle about it than usual. Make sure to brush your gums as well as your teeth, even an d actually especially if they bleed. An antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent periodontal disease.

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