Pregnancy is a time in a woman’s life when she becomes very particular about her overall health and the health of her unborn child. During pregnancy, the hormones circulating through your body can affect your gums, making it more susceptible to bleeding. This increases the risk of gums becoming inflamed or infected.
Having a gum infection can be painful and might lead to your teeth being damaged. It could also lead to plaque build-up, with could have adverse effects on your unborn baby. Therefore, it is important that dental treatments get carried out during pregnancy, however, the best time to undergo dental procedures is during the second trimester of pregnancy. During the second trimester, your baby’s organs have developed, decreasing the risk of side effects.
During pregnancy, there are many changes in your oral health, due to the surge in hormones. The hormones can exaggerate the way gum tissue reacts to plaque build-up, which causes gingivitis – or “pregnancy gingivitis” – that affects most pregnant women to some degree from the first two months of pregnancy. If you already have gingivitis, the condition is likely to worsen during pregnancy, and if it is left untreated, it could lead to periodontitis or a more serious form of gum disease.
Pregnant women are also at risk of developing pregnancy tumours and non-cancerous growths that develop when swollen gums become irritated. Usually, these tumours can be left alone, because they shrink away after the baby’s birth. However, these tumours can be uncomfortable and may interfere with chewing, brushing or flossing, so you could decide to have it removed.
If you have any concerns about dental care during pregnancy, feel free to discuss it with a dentist in Cape Town.