Pregnancy and Oral Health

Guest Blog by Hayley Irons

You’re pregnant, congratulations!

This means there are plenty of changes happening with your body. Some that you’ll be expecting and others that you perhaps weren’t. For starters, pregnancy comes with an influx of hormones. This is something you will probably have already noticed. While most people believe these hormonal changes usually affect mood and emotions the most, did you know that they also have an effect on your oral health?

What affect do hormones have on your mouth?

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make the teeth and gums more vulnerable to plaque build-up. This can lead to a higher risk of bleeding and inflamed gums. These are signs of gum disease. With this in mind, it is important to pay special attention to your teeth and gums while you are pregnant. Yes, another thing that you need to think about!

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What should you do?

Good oral health is important for everyone. As a pregnant woman you should place additional focus on it. You are more susceptible to gum problems and this can mean advanced gum disease, or periodontitis. In extreme cases this can cause complications such as pre-eclampsia, premature birth, and giving birth to an underweight baby. 

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What can you do to avoid these risks?

You should make regular trips to your dental practice. This is vital for your own health and the health of your unborn child. Oral hygiene care by your dentist and hygienist are perfectly safe during pregnancy. Don’t feel concerned about plaque removal treatments by your dental professionals. They will also be able to provide expert advice about how to care for your teeth and gums in between appointments in order to maintain a good level of oral health.

And the good news is?

The good news is that NHS dental care is free during pregnancy and for a whole year after your due date. You’ll need an exemption certificate (MatEx), and you can obtain the form for this from your GP or midwife. Do make good use of this service because it is designed to help you keep your teeth and gums in good health during your pregnancy and afterwards.

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