Your Teeth and Pregnancy

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Your Teeth and Pregnancy
There's no escaping the somewhat embarrassing and distinctly unglamorous effects of pregnancy on your body.

Varicose veins, hemorrhoids, morning sickness and heartburn... the list goes on. And while these might be what most women are prepared for, what a lot of mums-to-be don't realise is that they also face an increased risk of dental problems, most notably "pregnancy gingivitis".

One of the best ways to help alleviate or avoid potential dental problems associated with pregnancy is to sharpen up your oral care routine.

What is pregnancy gingivitis?

Mums-to-be experience elevated levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. This may cause an exaggerated response to the bacteria, found in plaque, which cause gum disease. 60-75% of all pregnant women develop inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) - usually beginning in the second month of pregnancy

Symptoms include swollen, red gums and bleeding of the gums when you brush. If you already have gingivitis it will most likely get worse during pregnancy. Morning sickness and additional snacking also mean that a thorough oral hygiene routine is important during pregnancy.

Top Tips For Good Oral Hygiene

Dr Andrea Ubhi, Dentist of the Year 2005, offers her essential tips:
Keep your teeth clean, especially near the gum line, by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and after each meal when possible
Minimise plaque by rinsing twice a day with an anti-bacterial mouthwash such as Listerine; it's clinically proven to reduce plaque by up to 56% more than brushing alone.
More frequent trips to the dentist or a hygienist for professional cleaning, will also help control plaque and therefore prevent inflammation of the gums
If you experience tenderness, bleeding, or gum swelling at any time during your pregnancy; notify your dentist as soon as possible

A healthy mouth helps you to look and feel great.

September 2006

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