A healthy mouth is important for your overall health and well-being. Many women develop gingivitis during pregnancy, a common and mild form of gum disease that affects the part of your gums around the base of your teeth. Gingivitis happens because your hormones change during pregnancy, making gums more sensitive to the bacteria that cause gum disease. Signs of gingivitis include red, swollen gums that bleed when brushing or flossing. If pregnancy gingivitis is not treated, the infection can lead to periodontal disease, which can impact your overall health.
Keeping your mouth healthy is good for you, good for your pregnancy, and good for baby. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Brush twice a day. Brushing in the morning and just before bed removes bacteria that cause oral diseases. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay and pregnancy gingivitis.
- Floss once per day. Flossing removes bacteria from the sides of each tooth that a toothbrush cannot reach. This is especially important for keeping gums healthy.
- Eat right and stay hydrated. Eating healthy foods and beverages, especially those low in sugar, and drinking plenty of water will help keep you and baby healthy.
- See your dentist. Pregnant women can safely have their teeth cleaned, have X-rays taken, and receive treatment. Fun fact: pregnancy does not cause tooth loss. Find a dentist
- Tackle morning sickness. Many women feel sick or vomit during pregnancy, especially during the first 3 months. Snacks throughout the day can help, but this can also increase your risk of tooth decay. Rinsing with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a cup of warm water will help stop stomach acids from attacking your teeth.
A healthy diet is important for both mom and baby to grow and develop properly. Proper weight gain during pregnancy is also important, as either too little or too much weight gain can affect the health of both mother and baby.
Find out more about eating right and weight gain during pregnancy: