Maintaining oral hygiene is always important, but even more so if you are pregnant. When pregnant, your hormone levels and appetite will change, but these changes also have an effect on your teeth and mouth as well. While good teeth assistance is important for both the baby and the mother, surveys show that only about 20% of pregnant women in the US actually visit a dentist while they are in term. Here are some serious effects of not taking care of your oral hygiene during pregnancy:
- Gingivitis: While gingivitis is bad enough, if untreated, it can also lead to a more advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. If untreated, these two issues can lead to severe pain, unnecessary infections, and it can actually harm the fetus.
- Poor oral health: Not only does poor oral health harm you directly, but also your baby. When your teeth or gums hurt, you tend to eat less nutritional meals which means that you are not giving the essential amount of nutrition to your baby.
- Benign pregnancy tumors: Though these tumors are not cancerous, they can become swollen and painful. With these tumors you may not be able to eat or drink correctly which also leads to less nutrition for your baby.
Dental erosion: When you experience things such as morning sickness, even if you brush your teeth afterwards, you still can have acidity in your mouth which can destroy your teeth and make you have even more problems in the near future. One thing to try after you have morning sickness is to mix together 1 teaspoon of baking soda and some warm water and swish it around in your mouth. This helps to balance the acid in your mouth which will temporarily help with dental erosion.