When you first find out the good news that you’re pregnant, setting up an appointment with your dentist is probably the last thing on your mind.
However, checking in with your dentist soon after is important! With all the hormonal changes your body is going through, your teeth will be affected. The elevated progesterone levels especially can make your teeth more vulnerable to gingivitis, loosening teeth and decay.
Being an expecting mother can be overwhelming, but experiencing dental complications will only make it more stressful. That’s why we recommend staying on top of your dental routine and making an appointment with your dentist so you can prevent problems before they start.
Pregnancy-Induced Gingivitis Symptoms
If you begin to experience pain or bleeding while brushing, this can be a sign that you may have developed gingivitis. Other abnormal things to look out for include:
- Receding gums
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
- Tender or puffy gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
These symptoms commonly peak in the third trimester when gingivitis risk is at its highest. It’s a good idea to schedule an extra cleaning around this time to remove any tartar and have your dentist examine your teeth for gingivitis signs.
If your exam requires an x-ray, don’t worry! Contrary to popular belief, dental x-rays are safe to get while pregnant.
4 Tips to Keep Your Teeth Healthy While Pregnant
Don’t Neglect Dental Hygiene. Even when pregnancy has left you tired or fatigued, make it a point to continue brushing twice and flossing once a day. Be careful with your gums to prevent unnecessary irritation and switch to a soft bristle brush if your gums are feeling tender. Since gingivitis attacks the gums, making sure to keep them clean and healthy is the best defense.
Eat a Balanced & Healthy Diet. Though pregnancy may come with odd cravings and hunger changes, it’s important to make sure you’re not always going for the junk food. Eating a diet full of vitamins and minerals will help keep you, your teeth and your baby healthy. Try incorporating:
- Whole grains
- Dairy products (unless you’re lactose intolerant)
Use a Sea Salt Rinse. Gargling with sea salt is great for soothing sensitive gums. Mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt in a cup of warm water and let it dissolve. Then rinse and swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
Get a Dental Checkup. Stick with your regular biannual visits or consider scheduling an extra checkup around your third trimester to ease any gingivitis worries.
Even if you’re waiting to tell some of your family and friends, let your dentist know as soon as possible so you can have a happy and healthy pregnancy!