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So you are eating for two now. Congratulations! You will also need to be cleaning your teeth and gums extra special as well. To enjoy a healthy pregnancy (and delivery) you will want to be in tip-top physical health, and that includes your oral health.

If it has been awhile since you have had a dental checkup and cleaning, you will want to have your dentist check for any signs of gingivitis, and clean the tartar off of those pearly whites. One of the things to watch out for during pregnancy is the effect it has on your teeth and gums, because of the extra hormone activity. The increase in estrogen and progesterone causes your gums to swell and bleed when you brush and floss. It usually starts in the second month and continues through the eighth. It stops completely after you give birth, as your hormone levels go back to pre-pregnancy levels.

There are also a couple of things to watch out for as you grow your little one. “Pregnancy Gingivitis” as we have discussed is one, and can result in having a preterm delivery and low birth weight baby. How is this possible? Bacteria from your infected gums can travel through your bloodstream to the uterus, where they trigger prostaglandins which induce labor. That is why keeping your gums healthy is a top priority!

Another condition which can occur in pregnant moms-to-be are “Pregnancy Tumors”. These happen in only about 2%-10% of women during pregnancy, and grow because of plaque buildup, shrinking down after giving birth. These are red or purple bumps on the gum tissue or gum line, and bleed easily. Fortunately, they are non-cancerous and therefore not dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable. What is the cause of these tumors? Anything from poor oral hygiene to hormones, viruses, and even trauma.

In addition to seeing your dentist during your pregnancy, protect yourself and your growing baby by taking excellent care of your teeth, brushing and flossing at least twice daily, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash.

If you have morning sickness and experience vomiting, rinse your mouth well with water before brushing, as the acids can erode your tooth enamel. You can also swish water with baking soda to lower your pH levels before brushing.

Eat healthy foods including lean protein and leafy greens, stay well hydrated with lots of water to avoid dry mouth, and avoid sugary, starchy foods as they can increase plaque.

From the team at Endodontic Associates of Bayside, may you enjoy a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, and excellent oral health! Call our office if you have any concerns or to schedule an appointment at 718-224-4000.