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What is the first thing you think about when you discover you are pregnant? Finding a good obstetrician? You are not alone! But while you are scheduling that first appointment, you will want to schedule a visit to your dentist as well, especially if it has been awhile since your last checkup and cleaning.

Because of increased estrogen and progesterone production, your periodontal health can suffer from how your gum tissue reacts to plaque during pregnancy. A good dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar will protect the health of your teeth and gums.

Gingivitis often develops in pregnant women as the gums react to the increase in hormonal changes by swelling and bleeding when you brush and floss. This usually starts from the second month until the eighth month of pregnancy and goes away after birth when your hormones return to normal levels.

If you currently suffer from bleeding or swollen gums, now is the time to step up your brushing and flossing routine and let Dr. Molinare remove hardened tartar with a thorough dental cleaning.

“Pregnancy gingivitis” has been linked to pre-term delivery and low birth weight babies. This is the result of bacteria from infected gums which travel through the bloodstream to the uterus and induce labor by triggering prostaglandins. Take the time to baby your teeth and gums during this special time!

“Pregnancy tumors” in the mouth develop in 2%-10% of women during pregnancy. These non-cancerous tumors grow between teeth and swollen gums, spring up from plaque buildup and will shrink back down after giving birth. These tumors aren’t dangerous, just uncomfortable.

Ways to Protect Your Oral Health:

Morning Sickness
If you have morning sickness, don’t brush your teeth right after vomiting, because the acids in your mouth erode tooth enamel. It can help to rinse with baking soda and water to lower the pH levels in the mouth before brushing your teeth.

Oral Hygiene
You will want to maintain conscientious oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy. Twice a day, brush and floss your teeth and gums. Incorporate an antibacterial mouthwash to help reduce plaque and see your dentist for a deep cleaning.

Now is a good time to build healthy eating habits and avoid excess sugar and starch consumption which feeds bacteria causing dental plaque.

To avoid dry mouth which can aggravate plaque buildup, stay hydrated by drinking more water to stimulate saliva production.

Nurture your oral health while you are pregnant and both you and your baby will benefit! At Molinare Dental Group, we are excited to help you during this journey. Contact our friendly staff at 973-993-1979 with your concerns or to schedule an appointment.