Pregnancy App Article: "What to expect: Teeth and gums"

Week 14
Health
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Healthy teeth and gums
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What to expect
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Hormones and pregnancy cravings can play havoc with your teeth and gums. So in the same way that you see the doctor or midwife for regular checks during your pregnancy, the dentist and hygienist should also feature on your appointments list. But the good news is, you’re entitled to free dental care in pregnancy and for a year after the birth - so do make the most of it.

You’ll need to produce your MatB1 form, signed by your doctor, or get a maternity exemption card. Ask your GP or midwife for an FW8 form to fill in to apply for it. 

Why do your teeth and gums become sensitive during pregnancy?
Gastric reflux or morning sickness may cause erosion to the teeth and, as a result, make them more sensitive. 

If you're craving sugary treats or drinks (and snacking for two) your diet changes will also put you at higher risk of dental decay.

Pregnancy gingivitis/bleeding gums is a common problem in the first trimester. It's caused by increased levels of progesterone softening your gums, meaning they'll react to the slightest graze from plaque and other irritants.

The extra blood pumping round your body can also cause your gums to swell.
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I knew it was a symptom of pregnancy, but wasn’t quite prepared for a mouthful of blood every now and then when just having a conversation with someone.
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It's worth booking in with your dentist and getting a hygiene appointment when you find out you're pregnant, but don't worry if morning sickness means you just can't face it. 

Between week 14 and week 20 is the ideal time for the kind of routine dental treatment that aims to control disease and generally keep your oral health up. 

Other than that, take good care of your pearly whites at home - brush your gums and tongue as well as the teeth, floss daily and use mouthwash or rinse with salt water (again, possibly one to avoid while morning sickness is still lurking). Yet another thing to think about, yes - but Pregnant Dracula is not a good look.
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