Did you know that this week is Dental Health Week?
Dental Health Week, which takes place in the first full week of August, is the Australian Dental Association’s major annual oral health promotion.
Its aim is to educate Australians about the importance of maintaining good oral health in every aspect of their lives.
In the year 2016, the focus of this week is on women and oral health, so the team at Greville Road Medical and Dental have put together a brief overview of common oral health issues that often arise during pregnancy and more specifically, how does pregnancy affect oral health?
Teeth, gums and mouth are affected by hormonal changes during pregnancy.
More pronounced gum inflammation. However, with good brushing and flossing, this is only temporary and should recover quickly.
Many pregnant women experience the urge to snack. Sweet and acidic foods especially increase the risk of tooth decay and erosion. We recommended to reduce the number of sweets and choose healthier options e.g. fresh fruits and nuts
Unfortunately for some women in early pregnancy, they have morning sickness. Vomiting or reflux can create a very acidic environment in the mouth, and that can weaken their teeth enamel. Resist the temptation to brush immediately, as there is a risk of stripping away layers of the teeth surface. Instead, rinse out with warm water, and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Dairy products such as hard cheese are good for these instances as they neutralise the acids, and the salty taste tends to suppress the urge to vomit too!
Dry mouth / Xerostomia
This may be a result of certain hormonal and/or dietary changes, and the body produces less saliva. Saliva is extremely important for keeping the oral and dental tissues healthy, and it has an antibacterial effect on the teeth. This is usually easily managed by drinking more water, and sometimes sugar-free chewing gum helps stimulate saliva flow too.