Oral health and pregnancy

SASOLBURG. ΓÇô Hormonal and physiological change is synonymous with pregnancy and despite these changes, pregnancy should be a time of joy for the mother-to-be. Enormous changes take place in the motherΓÇÖs body during pregnancy; these involve the mouth and teeth, which are often overlooked by mothers and doctors during pregnancy.

An old wives’ tale has it that ΓÇ£one tooth is lost for each pregnancyΓÇ¥. In this modern age nothing could be further from the truth, provided some basic knowledge is imparted to the mother regarding her changing physiology and how to deal with these changes.
The main oral health issues associated with pregnancy are hormonal changes.
Pregnancy shifts the usual hormonal levels into turmoil. The gums (gingivae) become inflamed at times of hormonal change. The terms puberty- and pregnancy gingivitis are often heard but seldom understood. The inflammation causes swelling in the gums which makes cleaning the teeth and the very important junction between the teeth and gums more difficult.
Gingivitis may occur more frequently during the second trimester of pregnancy. This is due to a rise in estrogen levels, which increase blood-flow to the body tissues. It is not unusual for gums to bleed when inflamed. It is imperative to realise that the bleeding is a sign that extra care must be taken when cleaning, and not, as so many mothers-to-be think, that the brush is hurting the gums and that brushing should be discontinued.

News source: Mooivaal Media – Vaalweekblad