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Pregnancy and oral health

Pregnancy affects your oral health, so it’s important to practice good hygiene and visit the dentist. Here are 3 common issues during pregnancy:

1. Pregnancy Gingivitis

Hormone changes can cause sensitive, swollen or bleeding gums and is called “pregnancy gingivitis.” Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease (periodontal disease). If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.

2. Tooth Decay

If you get morning sickness, your stomach acid can erode tooth enamel. But don’t brush your teeth right away after vomiting. That just scrubs your teeth with the acid. Rinse your mouth with water and chew a piece of sugar-free gum. Wait 30 minutes to brush.

Pregnancy can also cause dry mouth. A lack of saliva prevents food particles and bacteria from being washed away, which is why having a dry mouth over time causes tooth decay.

3. Oral Lesions

Tissue growths in the gums can happen. Often called pregnancy tumors, they are not a form of cancer. It’s a side-effect of swollen gums and excess plaque. They usually go away after the baby is born.

The best way to care for your oral health during pregnancy is the same as every day. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and visit the dentist.

Visit Delta Dental of South Dakota's #SmilePower blog for more tips on oral health and dental benefits.