Pregnancy doesn’t just effect your reproductive system. It effects the entire body. Shifts in hormones are responsible for numerous positive and negative physiological changes. Your oral health is not exempt from these changes. Hormonal shifts during pregnancy can lead to numerous dental concerns. It’s essential to maintain excellent oral hygiene at home, and never cancel your regular checkup during pregnancy. Let Dr. Grant D. Ringler help you preserve your oral health throughout your pregnancy. Call to schedule an appointment at our convenient Hutchinson, KS dental office today.
What to Expect from Your Hutchinson Dentist When You’re Expecting
When you found out you were pregnant, you were probably prepared for morning sickness, swollen ankles and odd food cravings, but did you prepare for pregnancy gingivitis and granuloma or enamel erosion? Your oral health is, unfortunately, not exempt from bodily changes during pregnancy. At our dental practice, Dr. Ringler encourages women who are considering getting pregnant to schedule a dental appointment before or very early in their pregnancy to discuss treatments and hygiene recommendations. Otherwise, it is always encouraged that, unless you have a pressing dental concern, you schedule a checkup and cleaning during your second trimester. This is the most stable point in the pregnancy for mom and baby, and the time that dental health concerns are typically at their peak.
Hormonal shifts make pregnant women more likely to suffer from pregnancy gingivitis, a mild form of periodontal (gum) disease that causes irritation of the gums due to bacterial growth. Untreated, this gingivitis can easily develop into a more severe form of gum disease. Women who suffer from gum disease are more likely to have preterm or low weight births. Infection anywhere in the body can slow fetal development as your body retains nutrients to fight infection that are needed for fetal development. Thus, early or low weight births are more likely. Additionally, nutrients absorbed by your body in fighting gingival infection are often those needed to begin developing your baby’s teeth beginning in the third month of pregnancy.
Pregnancy granuloma is a form of oral cancer. However, these swollen, red lumps of tissue that typically appear during the 2nd trimester are basically harmless, and will usually clear up shortly after you give birth. These bumps typically appear in the soft gum tissue between two teeth. Unless the granuloma makes it difficult for you to eat or speak, we recommend allowing them to heal naturally as even minimally invasive surgery can be difficult while pregnant.
Risk for enamel erosion and tooth decay increases during pregnancy for several reasons. The hormonal shifts that lead to increased risk for gum disease also put your teeth at risk for decay due to exposure to bacteria. Morning sickness and vomiting expose teeth to stomach acid that can be highly corrosive. Additionally, many pregnant women experience dry mouth. The lack of saliva to neutralize acidic bacterial interaction with teeth can increase the chances of erosion and decay.
Contact the Dentist Hutchinson Prefers
If you’re planning to be pregnant, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ringler today. You should be prepared for everything your pregnant body could throw at you, and taking the time to prepare for oral health changes can make a big difference. Call to schedule an appointment at our Hutchinson, KS dental practice. We welcome patients from Hutchinson and surrounding areas including Willowbrook, Medora, Buhler, and Nickerson.