Expecting a baby is an exciting, nerve-wracking, and busy time. There are so many things to think about. . . Antenatal classes, choosing a birthing partner and where you want to give birth, decorating the nursery, making and buying baby’s first clothes, not to mention the fact you’ve suddenly started to eat pickled onions by the jar thanks to cravings.
With so much going on, it is easy to forget about your dentist – after all, other than congratulating you on your imminent arrival, what can the dentist do to help your pregnancy run smoothly? A lot more thank you might think, actually. There are many conditions that are more likely to happen or are exacerbated by being pregnant, including enamel erosion – which could be caused by serious morning sickness as well as by your sudden penchant for pickled onions.
At The Evergreen Dental Centre in Reading, special care is offered for pregnant patients. Some of the oral health conditions that arise during pregnancy can be a little alarming, and often the main thing your dentist will do is to reassure you that what you’re experiencing is normal. They will also help you to manage the problem.
Pregnancy gingivitis is the term applied to gum disease that develops when you are expecting. It happens because raised levels of progesterone in your body – up to ten times higher than normal – changes how your body responds to toxins, including plaque.
It can be easy to panic if you develop bleeding or swollen gums during pregnancy, because some studies have linked gum disease to a low birth weight in babies whose mother had the condition, as well as to premature labour.
This is only true of serious, untreated gum disease, however. As long as you visit your dentist at the earliest opportunity, the condition can be easily treated and is nothing to worry about.
Pregnancy granuloma is another worrying condition that sometimes arises. This involves the growth of red nodules, usually on the upper gums. These nodules are benign and usually disappear soon after baby arrives, but if they cause pain, your dentist can help.