In 40 weeks the baby bump grows and, hand in hand, emotions and fears. Are you wondering what is the connection between pregnancy and a blog dedicated to tooth health? We will explain it to you immediately.
When a woman is on hold, physiological and hormonal changes can promote inflammation of the gums, repeated episodes of nausea and vomiting or gastroesophageal reflux can result in erosion of the enamel and the onset of caries. With prevention, that is, paying attention to the health of teeth in pregnancy, the growth of the baby is also safeguarded.
What happens when a woman is on hold? Gingivitis and caries in pregnancy
When a woman is waiting, there is a dilation of the blood vessels which is attributable to the increase in blood in the circulation and to the increase in hormone levels. Thus all the mucous membranes of the body, including the gums, undergo a swelling; cases of inflammation that cause pain and bleeding are common. Is the classic picture of gravidic gingivitis. The problem occurs since the first trimester of pregnancy and can be kept under control with greater and more careful oral hygiene and by setting a dental examination for preventive purposes. If neglected, however, the problem can lead to more important inflammations such as periodontitis up to compromising the stability of the tooth, in severe cases. According to some studies, periodontitis can affect the course of pregnancy with the risk of preterm birth or low weight of the baby at birth. To confirm the higher incidence of dental problems for pregnant women, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG): about 40% of pregnant women suffer from gingivitis, caries or periodontitis that can be dangerous for the health of the child .
But why are pregnant teeth more easily charged? It really depends on saliva.
With the change in the composition of saliva, which is more acidic and rich in glycoproteins but also more viscous and dense, its preventive function against caries is diminished.
What to do? Oral hygiene, nutrition and prevention
Keep your gums healthy in six steps:
- brush your teeth after each meal and pass the dental floss at least once a day;
- schedule a dental cleaning every 6- 12 months or at shorter intervals if you are pregnant and there are previous episodes of periodontitis;
- maintain a balanced diet rich in vitamin C (citrus fruits, kiwis, tomatoes), D (dairy products, eggs, liver) and calcium which is important for bone mineralization;
- avoid sugary drinks (for example, prefer fruit to fruit juices), no sweets, too fatty foods;
- say no to smoking;
- to stimulate salivation, the greatest natural defense against caries, chewin-gum without sugar and with xylitol (a particular type of sugar extracted from birch wood) can be used. In this way, it increases the salivary flow which helps to wash away food residues, neutralize plaque acids and keep bacteria at bay.
Visit to the dentist: when to do it and why before conception
Between the fourth and sixth week of pregnancy it is the most suitable period to undergo a dental examination. The most important thing is to inform the dentist of any past or present ailments, so as to establish the most suitable treatment. During the first three months of pregnancy, an expecting woman is not subjected to X-rays, anesthesia, pain relievers and antibiotics, unless strictly necessary. If, however, it is necessary to intervene with dental therapies, between 14 and 20 weeks the risk of abortion is reduced. After 20 weeks, the position lying on the chair can be very uncomfortable, therefore, it is better to maintain a semi-extended position, perhaps with a pillow under the right side of the body.
Important advice: if, with your partner, you are thinking of having a child, make a preventive visit and, if it has been a long time since the last check, do not postpone further. As anticipated, a pregnant woman can be more easily affected by dental problems, gingivitis and others, especially if pre-existing.