Pregnancy causes changes throughout the entire body, and your mouth is no exception. Because during this important time your mouth is susceptible to more issues such as infection, your dentist may suggest that you see your hygienist for cleaning every three to four months. During the pregnancy your dentist will check your gums and look for cavities. X-rays can be harmful to the unborn child, so it’s essential you inform your dentist if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Your dentist also won’t want to do any invasive treatments during this time if they’re avoidable, so she will assess what can wait until either the second or third trimester or until after the child is born and will treat only what is truly necessary such as any emergency concerns.
One of the most common oral issues pregnant women face is pregnancy tumours. As the body changes and hormones fluctuate, the gums become more sensitive and responsive to bacteria in the mouth. Where during normal function a woman’s body can handle the number of bacteria, during pregnancy, her gums are more sensitive and can react to the bacteria, becoming inflamed and irritated. Occasionally a “pregnancy tumour” grows from this inflammation, typically at the gum line. They can be quite annoying and bleed.
It’s imperative during this time to brush and floss diligently and maintain quarterly check-ups with your hygienist, which will reduce any potential issues and help make your pregnancy just a little bit easier.