If you’re pregnant, you are constantly thinking about a thousand things at once. Your baby’s health is always your main concern, and many decisions you make are centered solely on that. For that reason, it’s easy to understand why your own oral health might fall to the bottom of the priority list. You might continue your daily regimen during pregnancy, but you might not have realized that your pregnancy can actually negatively affect your oral health, and special care might be needed. Before your oral health complications become more serious, it is important to look out for the main oral complications that can arise during pregnancy.

Some of the complications to watch out for include pregnancy gingivitis, pregnancy tumors on the gums, tooth erosion caused by morning sickness, dry mouth and excessive saliva. To maintain good oral health during your pregnancy and offset these negative side effects, you must eat a well-balanced diet and brush your teeth more frequently than you did before pregnancy. You should also make sure you see a dentist during your second trimester. Being well-informed about general oral health is the best way to combat complications during pregnancy, so a recent study set out to explore which groups of people might need extra information on oral health when they become pregnant.

Beliefs about oral health differ between cultures. The study examined many different cultures to determine which needed additional oral health education during their pregnancy, and found that a recap about general oral health was greatly beneficial to pregnant women in those cultures. Even women whose culture places a high importance on oral health can benefit from a brush-up on their dental educations when they become pregnant. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, you should consider reading up to remind yourself of the best oral health practices.

It might seem surprising to many women, but oral health is often compromised by pregnancy. Even just from the frequent morning sickness alone, your teeth become eroded and extra care is necessary. Aside from that, pregnancy can cause a temporary form of gingivitis that will need special attention. No matter what your background, be sure to practice extremely detailed oral hygiene practices during your pregnancy to make sure your overall health is not compromised. Although you have many other things to think about during gestation, don’t put oral health on the backburner.

Source: Kim A Boggess et al: Knowledge and Beliefs Regarding Oral Health Among Pregnant Women. The Journal of the American Dental Association Volume 142 Issue 11 November 2011