Pregnancy is a time when people tend to hand out a lot of unsolicited advice leaving parents to be overwhelmed and unable to make the decision that is the best for them. From the best diet, exercises, and sleeping postures there is an endless list that expecting mothers have to go through on a daily basis. In all this, one of the most crucial elements of health, oral care often gets ignored.
Why Oral Health Is Important During Pregnancy?
Dr. Mohendar Narula, Founder and Chairman, MyDentalPlan Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, told HerZindagi that "With nearly 70% of women suffering from gum problems during pregnancy, oral hygiene becomes an important factor determining the health of the mother and the child. Out of all the oral problems, pregnancy gingivitis has been paving the way for numerous systemic disorders like gestational diabetes, heart, kidney diseases, and more."
"Increased hormone (estrogen and progesterone) levels during pregnancy raise blood flow to the gum tissues, making them swollen and sensitive. Moreover, hygiene levels drop further as 75% of women find it difficult to brush or floss due to gag reflex causing harm to the enamel and bad breath during pregnancy. Acid formation from sweet and sour cravings, and constant throwing up during pregnancy cause tooth enamel erosion and loss of appetite," he added.
How Can It Harm You
This hormonal imbalance triggers gingivitis identified as bleeding on brushing or flossing, inflamed, painful and swollen gums.
If left untreated, pregnancy gingivitis can often induce pre-eclampsia (extremely high blood pressure), gum tissue ulcers, pregnancy granuloma, pregnancy tumours, loose teeth, dry mouth, and even dental erosions in mothers.
Shockingly, pregnancy gingivitis can cause even more harm to the unborn child as it escalates the chances of miscarriages, premature deliveries, and babies with low birth weight. Furthermore, premature babies are at a higher risk of having brain injuries, eyesight, hearing, and other developmental deformities.
Steps To Avoid Pregnancy Gingivitis
However, it is easy to avoid pregnancy gingivitis by practicing good oral hygiene. Here are some tips by Mr. Narula that you can follow:
- Brush with an extra-soft toothbrush
- Use alcohol-free or salt rinses
- Perform gum massages
- Get teeth cleaning done before pregnancy or during the second trimester
Pregnancy gingivitis is a preventable and easy to treat disease. Your gums might need extra attention, however, proper care and regular visits to a dentist can keep the mother and child in perfect health throughout.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on pregnancy and health.