Pregnancy and oral hygiene-a quick guide

Your baby's first teeth will begin to develop about three months into your pregnancy, so you should eat a balanced diet, foods rich in calcium. This will help you and your unborn baby get all the nutrients and keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Tell your dentist about your pregnancy and any medicines you are taking.

Brush thoroughly with a soft-bristled tooth brush and night brushing is must

Floss daily to remove plaque in between the teeth.

Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and routine cleaning.

Even after delivery woman should be more careful about their oral hygiene and should not stop brushing By following this routine you will not only help avoid dental problems of your own, you will also contribute to the healthy developmentof your baby.

How does pregnancy affect my teeth and gums?
Pregnancy causes hormonal fluctuations that increase your risk for gum disease. The changing hormone levels in your body can make your gums more sensitive to harmful plaque leading to inflamed and bleeding gums called as Pregnancy Gingivitis. Furthermore, if you already have signs of gum disease ,being pregnant may make it worse.

How do i know if i have gum disease?
As many as 70% of women have some form of gum disease during pregnancy, so watch out for these warning signs:

Your gums are tender, swollen or red

Your gums bleed when you brush or floss

You can't get rid of bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

Are you also at a greater risk for tooth decay
Yes, sugary food cravings and morning sickness may make you more vulnerable to developing cavities.

It is safe to visit the while you are pregnant
Generally speaking if a dental treatment improves your overall health, it's probably good for your baby as well ,so go ahead with it during pregnancy.

The second trimester (4 to 6 month)is the best time to receive routine dental care.

You should receive treatment if it is necessary ,to ease pain, prevent infection or decrease stress on you and your foetus. If you are diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease during pregnancy, you should go in for scaling and root planning. This treatment is non-surgical and involves removal of tartar and plaque from periodontal pockets and this is completely safe and must.

If you need to get x-rays done, your dentist will give you a special apron to protect you and your baby from the radiation

Proper dental care is especially important during pregnancy, since serious gum disease (periodontal disease) has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. A study by the University of North Carolina showed that women with periodontal disease were seven times more likely to have a baby born too early or too small.

Periodontal Disease and Premature Birth
Researchers believe that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease enter the bloodstream through the mouth and travel to the uterus, where they trigger the production of prostaglandins, which may cause premature labor. If a baby is born too soon, it can't reach its full potential weight.

Is there an association between gum disease and diabetes?

Research shows that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes.

Is There a Two-Way Street?

Emerging research also suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Research suggests that people with diabetes are at higher risk for oral health problems, such as gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (serious gum disease). People with diabetes are at an increased risk for serious gum disease because they are generally more susceptible to bacterial infection, and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums.

Good oral health is integral to general health. So be sure to brush and floss properly and see your dentist for regular checkups.

If i have diabetes, am i at risk for dental problem
If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you are more likely to develop serious gum disease and lose more teeth than non-diabetics. Like all infections, serious gum disease may be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise and may make diabetes harder to control.

Other oral problems associated to diabetes include: thrush, an infection caused by fungus that grows in the mouth, and dry mouth which can cause soreness, ulcers, infections and cavities.

How can i help prevent dental problems associated with diabetes?
First and foremost, control your blood glucose level. Then, take good care of your teeth and gums, along with regular checkups every six months.

Should i tell my dental professional about my diabetes?
People with diabetes have special needs ,Keep your dentist informed of your condition and any medication you might be taking. Postpone any non-emergency dental procedures if your blood sugar is not in good control.