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During pregnancy, the body undergoes a number of major hormonal changes that can alter the natural balance. Some of these can have unfortunate side-effects. As the health of the mother is important for the health of the unborn baby, any risk of a bacterial infection should be treated seriously.
If you or your partner should become pregnant, a dental check-up is an important early step. The dentist can monitor your oral health throughout the pregnancy, preventing or treating any dental issues that may otherwise risk infection.
The flood of hormones during pregnancy can upset the otherwise stable balance in the mouth. This can make it easier for certain conditions to take hold.
There may be a higher risk of tooth decay (caries), as the hormones can trigger increased plaque production in the mouth. Tooth decay and cavities create opportunities for bacteria to enter the tooth or gum, leading to more serious problems.
Gingivitis is common among pregnant women. If your gums start bleeding or become inflamed, it is important to have this checked as soon as possible.
If bacteria are allowed to thrive in the mouth, periodontitis is possible. An infection of the gum, periodontitis can weaken the supporting bones and ligaments around your teeth. Some women develop small growths or swellings on the gums caused by increased plaque formation. If you notice unnatural growths in your mouth, consult your dentist. Sometimes, these can be removed surgically once the baby is born.
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During pregnancy, it is even more important to maintain good oral health, with a daily routine of brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day. The risk of dental problems can also be reduced by avoiding sugary snacks and other foods that are bad for your teeth.
Smoking is bad for you at any time, but should be completely cut out during pregnancy. Also, alcohol — although normally fine in moderation —should be avoided entirely while pregnant for a number of reasons related to the health of the unborn baby, not least of which is the increase of acids in your mouth, attacking your teeth.
Read more about good Oral Hygiene
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