March 11, 2013
What You Need to Know – Tooth Decay
Of course anyone can get tooth decay, but pregnant women who snack a lot may have a higher risk. That’s because bacteria normally found in everyone’s mouth feed on the sugars found in all foods and drinks. These bacteria produce dental plaque and release acids. It is the acids that attack and eat away at teeth.
When you have sugary foods or drinks many times a day, or sip on sugar filled drinks like soda or fruit juices all day long, the acid from the bacteria attacks and eats away at your teeth again and again causing cavities. Cavities left untreated for a long time can become complicated and expensive to treat. The best time for dental treatment, other than routine dental hygiene visits, is in the middle trimester. Of course, at Boston Smile Center, we always seek input and approval from your OB-GYN.
As you know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, brush your teeth after every meal, even after snacks or sugar-containing drinks. A mechanical toothbrush, of any kind, is clearly more effective over a standard toothbrush. Flossing as well is also necessary to prevent cavities from developing between your teeth. If you already have a lot of dentistry or suffer from morning sickness, a prescription strength fluoridated toothpaste or tooth remineralizing mouth rinse may also be beneficial. At Boston Smile Center, we will tailor a regimen to meet your particular needs.
How Pregnancy May Affect Your Gums
Many women are prone to gingivitis (gin-ja-vie-tis) during pregnancy. The plaque on your teeth can make your gums red, tender, inflamed, swollen, and likely to bleed easily when you brush your teeth. This condition if left untreated can lead to more serious disease affecting the gums and the jawbone that hold your teeth in place.
During pregnancy, your body’s hormone levels rise greatly. These hormones can make your gums more sensitive to dental plaque. That is why gingivitis is more common during pregnancy and why more frequent dental cleanings will be beneficial. Your home care is especially important in keeping this condition in check. Again, Dr. Alan Sasson will tailor a regimen to meet your particular needs.
Together we can work together to make sure you maintain optimal oral health before, during, and after your pregnancy.
Dr. Sasson’s goal at Boston Smile Center is for you to maintain a radiant and healthy smile for a lifetime!
In an upcoming blog, I will discuss pregnancy as it relates to dental X-rays, food choices and looking ahead.
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