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When you’re pregnant you know how important it is to take special care of your body. However, you should also know that pregnancy is a time to take extra special care of your teeth and gums. That’s because hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy can increase your chances of developing gum disease.

So while you are pregnant, make sure you practice good oral hygiene, which means brushing and flossing every day. By combining this routine with a healthy, balanced diet and regular dental visits, you will not only help avoid dental problems of your own, you will also contribute to the healthy development of your baby.

How does Pregnancy affect my teeth and gums?

Pregnancy causes hormonal fluctuations that increase your risk of gum disease. The changing hormone levels in your body can make your gums more sensitive to harmful plaque – the colourless, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. Furthermore, if you already have signs of gum disease ,being pregnant may make it worse. This is why it’s vital to pay more attention to your daily brushing and flossing to keep plaque under control

How does gum disease develop?

Plaque is one of the main causes of gum disease. If plaque is not removed by daily brushing/flossing, it will accumulate on the teeth and below the gumline which can lead to gingivitis -the first stage of gum disease. If ignored gingivitis can progress to a more serious form called periodontitis in which the gums and bones that support your teeth and keep them in place are permanently damaged.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

As many as 70% of women have some form of gum disease during pregnancy.

Warning signs:

Your gums are tender, swollen or red

Your gums bleed when you brush or floss

You can’t get rid of bad breath or bad taste in your mouth

If you think you might have gum disease visit your dentist right away

If caught early enough gum disease can usually be reversed or controlled

You are also at greater risk for tooth decay Sugary food cravings and morning sickness may make you more vulnerable to cavities

To avoid tooth decay and gum disease get into the habit of cleaning your teeth properly every day twice and visiting your dentist every 6 months or as advised .Do teel your dentist you are pregnant or are looking to get pregnant.

Brush your teeth -for 2 minutes and Spit No Rinse. When you can’t brush your teeth just apply toothpaste on the teeth and leave it there. Flossing is important too daily. Eat healthy Especially those foods rich in calcium for developing bones and teeth.

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