Health & Wellness

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Did you know?

Women have so much on their mind during pregnancy that it can be easy to overlook something that seems so mundane as keeping their teeth clean. Oral hygiene is not something readily discussed when a woman conceives, but it is important nonetheless. Doctors and dentists advise regular oral examinations and professional teeth cleaning throughout pregnancy. Hormones may trigger changes that can be cause for concern. Women are more likely to develop gingivitis, an infection of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness, during pregnancy, when bleeding during flossing and brushing may be common. Dentists may suggest more frequent cleanings during pregnancy to prevent any problems with gingivitis from escalating. Lumps that appear along the gum line and between teeth also may appear during pregnancy. These "pregnancy tumors" are harmless and not cancerous. However, if they become bothersome, a dentist can remove them. Women should inform their dentists they are pregnant so precautions, such as knowing which medications are safe to prescribe and ensuring no dental x-rays are ordered, can be taken. All health concerns can be mentioned to your obstetrician, who may advise further action by a dentist.