February is National Heart Month and we’re dedicated to providing new and expecting moms with comprehensive health information. Today we’re looking at
, primarily during pregnancy. Do you use an alcohol-free mouthwash? It could be a key factor in preventing you from developing pregnancy gingivitis.
Much like standard gingivitis, this dental disease affects a pregnant woman’s gums. Swollen, red gums or gums that bleed during brushing and flossing are signs of pregnancy gingivitis.
Dentists warn that pregnancy gingivitis should not be overlooked; some women report developing benign tumors in their mouths from pregnancy gingivitis. Luckily, these tumor issues generally resolve themselves after delivery, but clear communication and care from your dentist is still a must while pregnant.
Why are pregnant women more susceptible to gingivitis and plaque? Dentists say that the increase in hormones (particularly progesterone) cause strong reactions between the hormones and plaque. The results can be even more severe if you have a history of periodontal disease before pregnancy. Low birth weights and other newborn complications have been linked back to periodontal disease during pregnancy.
What can you do to keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy? Make sure to brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash daily. Some dentists even recommend using a tongue scraper to remove bacteria. Visit your dentist for a cleaning while pregnant (most dentists advise getting checked every 6 months, so at least one visit during your pregnancy is doable). If you feel as though you might have an infection in your mouth—don’t wait to tell your dentist! Get it checked out and resolved.
Keep those teeth clean and healthy, moms-to-be!
Photograph courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons