Far from being the first thing most people think of when the word ‘pregnancy’ is said, dental care is extremely important during this period in a woman’s life.
It is also rarely the first thing on a pregnant lady’s healthcare check-list; prenatal vitamins, blood tests, visits to the midwife and a birthing plan will understandably be top priorities, but many women are unaware of the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene during those 9 months leading up to the birth.
Indeed, many dental professionals recommend regular dental check-ups for pregnant women, while also advising that they attend at least two appointments with a dental hygienist in Edinburgh. This ensures that all aspects of oral health are cared for, leading to a healthier and easier pregnancy.
But why is oral health so important during this particular period? And why should women visit a dental hygienist in Edinburgh? Read on to find out!
In the modern world, a fair amount of the average person’s diet contains acidic products, like coffee or orange juice.
However, when a woman is pregnant, her mouth is exposed to more acid than usual, due to one of the earliest signs of pregnancy; morning sickness. Everyday exposure to acid can erode the enamel on the teeth, leading to higher sensitivity and teeth that are more likely to become damaged or decayed. A professional assessment by a hygienist can help minimise acid damage to teeth, with many hygienists able to prescribe prescription mouthwash or toothpaste
to help protect teeth.
Acid exposure and hormonal fluctuations can give rise to inflammation of the gums.
This painful condition can be accompanied by ulcers, sores, and abscesses; not exactly what any mother to be needs!
While a hygienist cannot stop the sickness or hormonal fluctuations, they can help ensure that no abscesses or ulcers form, and can provide targeted treatments if they do. Once again, a prescription mouthwash is usually helpful in such instances.
Different from inflammation caused by acid in the mouth, pregnancy gingivitis is a fairly common condition, often experienced in the first trimester of pregnancy.
In simple terms, it is a reaction to hormonal fluctuations, causing the gums to become extremely sensitive to everyday plaque accumulation. It can lead to painful and bleeding gums and can make consumption of even lukewarm water uncomfortable. Oral examinations throughout pregnancy can help your dental team assess for pregnancy gingivitis and treat it effectively in its early stages.
Pregnancy granulomas are soft, often benign growths that are once again the result of hormones. While they often resolve on their own, if you notice that it is becoming more difficult to breathe, or the growth is impacting your ability to eat, it is vital that you see your dental hygienist promptly.
Strange pregnancy cravings mixed with excess acid and exhaustion are the perfect storm for tooth decay.
Regular meetings with your dentist will keep decay at bay and prevent secondary issues, such as abscesses, from forming.