Oral health during pregnancy

Pregnant woman at dentist before treatmentRecently my niece who is expecting her first baby asked me why her gums have become sensitive and bleed easily when brushing and flossing.

If you are pregnant and experiencing similar problems, it might be related to the hormonal changes that occurr during pregnancy. These changes may make your gums more sensitive to the germs (bacteria) found at the gum line.

Pregnant women frequently experience swollen, red, tender gums that bleed easily when flossed or brushed.

Good oral health is an important part of a healthy pregnancy; regular and proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups help to prevent complications that could affect your health and your baby’s health.

Research shows that severe gum disease (periodontal disease) is linked with an increased risk for babies to be born before 37 weeks gestation, and with low birth weight.

Contact your dental health professional if you have:   

  • red, shiny, puffy and sensitive gums
  • painful gums that bleed easily
  • toothache and/or loosening teeth
  • bad breath that won’t go away
  • any unusual growths in your mouth
  • any wounds that haven’t healed in two weeks

 Tips to maintain your oral health during pregnancy:

  • brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush
  • use fluoride toothpaste
  • floss daily to remove bacteria and food debris between the teeth
  • see your dental health professional regularly
  • eat a well-balanced diet
  • limit food and beverages that are high in sugar
  • if you vomit from morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or fluoride mouth wash.
  • avoid all tobacco and tobacco-like products
  • choose oral care products that have the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) seal.

It’s best to maintain good oral health and see your dental health professional early and regularly for checkups to prevent problems during pregnancy.

To learn more about dental services and programs, please contact our nurses via eChat or call (416)338-7600.

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