How should pregnant woman take care of their oral health?

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During pregnancy, pregnant women should pay a special attention to their oral hygiene more, because during this time if you have gum diseases or periodontal diseases, you will bleed easily, leading tooth-relating inflammatory diseases, which affect blood sugar. And it is one of the risks for postpartum infections.

Why should pregnant women protect their teeth from oral health issues during pregnancy?

According to a medical study of the United States, pregnant women who experience problems with their gums without being effectively treated will have higher risk of giving a birth before the 35th week than normal mothers. Dentists confirm that severe gingivitis can speed up the development of a substance called prostaglandin; tumor necrosis causing substances and other chemicals leads to induce the process of beginning labor.

Besides, if pregnant women suffer from severe gingivitis or bleeding gums, they will have to use medicine to get it treated, which will have bad influences on the unborn baby’s health.

Therefore, pregnant women should know how to take care of their good oral heath to protect their teeth during pregnancy.

Why do pregnant women suffer from oral diseases?

During pregnancy, pregnant women often suffer from dental problems caused mainly by two reasons as follows:

  • First, your teeth and gums are at risk of being weakened because of the hormones released during pregnancy. Gingivitis is a common disease with some with symptoms such as pain, bleeding, and sometimes gingival recession (also known as receding gums).
  • Second, gingivitis is caused by the changes in the diet. Pregnant women often have common symptoms such as nausea and even vomiting, so they will tend to change their eating habits. In addition, they may need to eat more glucose containing foods than normal. It is what has led to the possibility of tooth decay.

Some common oral health related diseases during pregnancy

Almost pregnancy does not cause discomfort to the teeth, but 90% of pregnant women suffer from gingival symptoms. The common manifestations are bleeding, swelling and itching in the gums. These are not really gum diseases; they are a result of blood circulation disorders in the gums. This phenomenon is commonly found from the 3rd month and it reduces till the 8th month of the pregnancy.

It is found that half of this kind of the disorder as well as other changes in the body during pregnancy will automatically disappear after giving a birth. However, letting them develop naturally in addition to poor oral hygiene is likely to make pregnant women’s teeth suffer from decay and periodontal diseases (Chronic inflammation diseases results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Common symptoms are red or swollen or easily bleeding gums, alveolar bone, loose teeth and tooth loss. It can be said that the majority of tooth loss in adults is caused by periodontal diseases.) This has a harmful effect on not only their health but also their unborn baby/fetus.

How to take care of oral health during pregnancy and lactation?

Prevention is the first measure you should apply. If you are living in moderation, oral health issues will be controlled before pregnancy. Removing the tartar regularly will prevent gum diseases and you should remember to dentist for regular dental check and detect oral health issues as soon as possible.

Treating pregnant women is very complex, so it is necessary to have proper measure to take care of pregnant women’s teeth during pregnancy and post-pregnancy in order to minimize teeth-relating issues.

However, generally, if you suffer from oral health issues, dentists can only perform temporary treatment as dental fillings, anti-infection, so on.  Every treatment had to be postponed until after confinement. There, mothers and fetus will avoid risks caused by the treatment. In the cases of severe tooth decay, dentists will advise their patients to avoid extractions before the 4th month and after the 7th month during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage and premature.

1. Before pregnancy

If you have oral health issues before pregnancy, you may be at risk for suffering those diseases during pregnancy; hence it is necessary for us to care for your oral health when you intend to be pregnant. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene and regular dental checkup and to treat oral problems thoroughly if you suffer from them. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after eating and before going to bed and should use fluoride containing toothpaste. Instead of using toothpicks, you should use dental floss for cleaning between the teeth and go to the dentist’s for periodical check-up regularly.

2. During pregnancy

It is necessary to pay special attention to dental care for pregnant women during pregnancy because they have finicky eating habits and like eating sugary foods and drinks more than usual. This is one of the reasons for tooth decay. Thus, to avoid periodontal diseases, pregnant women should eat sugar-free foods or foods with the sweetness of fresh fruits, drink more milk, and eat less salt & enough fats.

Moreover, during pregnancy there are some hormonal changes making the gums become inflamed and bleed easily, which makes many people be afraid of brushing their teeth. As results, this situation will become more serious. When seeing the dentists, you should inform your dentists to get appropriate treatment.

In addition to oral care for pregnant women by good personal hygiene such as regularly brushing teeth after meals and before bedtime, if pregnant women still experience teeth relating problems, they mustn’t absolutely take medicine, especially tetracycline; because it will make your child’s teeth brown or black. In order for your children to have healthy teeth and gums, you should eat enough nutrients, especially calcium and should not eat a lot of sweets and fats.

3. Post pregnancy

Thanks to the progressive concepts of nutrition in oral care for pregnant women after childbirth expectant mothers don’t have to have a too restrictive diet as before. However, they should not eat too hot or too cold food soon because it will impact significantly your teeth afterwards. You also need to always maintain good oral hygiene like that during pregnancy.

Besides during lactation, a calcium intake of the mother’s body is concentrated in milk, so mothers have to drink milk regularly and eat more vegetables and fruits to add calcium to the mother’s body and in the breast milk. Babies are born without the bacteria that cause tooth decay, so, to keep hygiene for babies, adults should not kiss on the babies’ mouth and should not feed babies from adults’ mouth.

In summary, the dental care for pregnant women before, during and after pregnancy is very important because it not only affects the health of mothers and also affects the child later.

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