Pregnancy brings many kinds of excitement and joy to a mother’s life, but gum problems aren’t one of them. Pregnancy gingivitis not only causes gum trouble, it can also lead to higher risks for preterm labor and problems with the newborn baby. If you are pregnant and notice swelling or inflammation of your gums, you might have pregnancy gingivitis. It results from plaque buildup that irritates your gums, and can harbor bacteria that gets into your body. The bacteria can travel to your uterus and affect your pregnancy and unborn child. How can you avoid pregnancy gingivitis?
Brush and floss your teeth properly. Try to brush after all meals and snacks, especially those high in sugars or starches. See your dentist for frequent cleanings, aiming for two to three times during your pregnancy. This will remove more plaque from your teeth that you can at home, serving to lower your risk for plaque buildup.
Consult your dentist before, during, and after your pregnancy. You will learn how to best care for your mouth, and what to watch for in case a problem does arise.
Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy will not only benefit your overall health and that of the baby, but will also limit your sugar intake which promotes plaque formation.
Try to have dental procedures performed before you become pregnant. Some emergency procedures are safe during pregnancy, but it is best to have treatment done before pregnancy.
Avoid sharing food and utensils so that you don’t transfer bacteria from person to person. Your goal is to limit the amount of bacteria in your mouth as much as possible.
Chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva, which help equalize the acids in your mouth and fight plaque buildup. The ingredient xylitol has been shown to help prevent bacteria from being able to stick on your teeth, therefore fighting tooth decay.
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