There are a number of foods and drinks you shouldn't have when you're pregnant. It's time to say a fond (temporary) farewell to many types of seafood, raw eggs, some types of cheese and, of course, alcohol. These items will be banished from your mouth during pregnancy, but what about the state of your mouth itself? Maintaining a high level of health during pregnancy is crucial, and your dental health is not exempted. In fact, there are a few dental issues specifically related to your pregnancy that you need to be aware of.
If your morning sickness is particularly pronounced during your pregnancy, you need to consider the effect that the acidity of your vomit can have on your teeth. Your vomit contains stomach acid, which has a corrosive effect on your dental enamel. Obviously, you should consult your doctor if your morning sickness becomes severe, but you should also see your dentist. Given the direction of vomit as it moves up your throat and into your mouth, the backs of your teeth might be most affected, and when this begins to compromise your teeth, your dentist might wish to perform remineralisation. Fluoride is typically used, but topical fluoride application is not always appropriate during pregnancy. Be sure to tell your dentist that you're pregnant so that a safe alternative can be used when necessary.
Pregnant women are more susceptible to a form of gingivitis that is in fact referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. This condition presents much the same as traditional gingivitis, with swollen and irritated gums, and there might be light bleeding. Treatment is much the same as well, and your dentist will perform a scaling to remove the accumulation of plaque on your teeth. This is non-invasive and does not require any medication to be given, so it's a harmless procedure during pregnancy. Untreated gingivitis can jeopardise your overall oral health, so treatment is essential.
Dry mouth can occur during pregnancy. In addition to your own needs, your baby also requires a significant amount of hydration, leading to you becoming dehydrated. Make sure that you consume plenty of water during your pregnancy. You can also increase saliva production by chewing sugarless gum (look for one which uses xylitol as its sweetening agent), which is fine during pregnancy. A reduced saliva flow removes the natural protection that saliva offers, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities, which is why it's important to maintain that saliva production during pregnancy by avoiding dry mouth.
Essentially, all you need to remember is that you should keep your regularly scheduled dental appointments, schedule extra appointments if you're concerned that your pregnancy is affecting your teeth and make sure your dentist is aware of your pregnancy.