Pregnancy, Hormones, & Oral HealthPregnancy is a time of celebration, planning, and changing. Not all of the changes are welcome, however, or even visible. Many of the physical and emotional changes experienced during pregnancy result from an increase in the levels of certain hormones. Hormones are chemicals that regulate many important processes in the body. Most people are not aware that hormonal variations negatively affect oral health. Bluff Creek Dental in Chanhassen offers consultation and treatment to keep you healthy throughout your pregnancy.

Pregnancy Hormones

When a woman is pregnant, the female hormones surge, resulting in a number of changes throughout the body. These hormones are responsible for both positive and troublesome changes. During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone are produced at much higher rates, as well as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), oxytocin, and relaxin. These hormones are responsible for a number of changes throughout the body, including changes in oral health that come with harmful consequences.

Vulnerable Gums

Increases in the female hormones estrogen and progesterone can expand the tiny blood vessels in your gums, increasing blood flow. Increased blood flow makes gums more sensitive to the bacteria found in the dental plaque that accumulates on teeth every day. Vigilant oral health care and regular visits with your family dentist are therefore especially important during pregnancy to ward off decay and infection.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnant women often report red and swollen gums that may bleed when they floss or brush their teeth. This condition is known as “pregnancy gingivitis.” Similar gum inflammation can result from taking birth control pills that contain a type of synthetic progesterone, or even from the normal hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle. Relief and treatment are available through our family dentistry and through consistent oral hygiene routines.

Pregnancy “Tumors”

Pregnancy “Tumors” are benign growths that occasionally develop during pregnancy. The pregnancy hormones cause overgrowths of gum tissue that resemble small, berry-colored lumps along the gum line or between the teeth. This condition is rare and typically clears up within a few months of giving birth.

Oral Health Implications

Oral health affects both you and your baby. If you are experiencing symptoms of inflammation or gingivitis, visit your family dentist in Chanhassen, MN to monitor your condition. Periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to serious health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and forms of high blood pressure. Additionally, studies have suggested a link between gum disease and preterm delivery. Again, gum disease can be combated through healthy eating, good oral hygiene, and regular dental cleanings. Visit your family dentist today to ensure you’re on track for a healthy pregnancy—for you and your baby.

Visit Your Family Dentist

Bluff Creek Dental knows that your baby’s well being is your top priority during pregnancy. Something important you can do to protect little him or her (and yourself) is protect your oral health. Our family dentistry offers a variety of dental treatments to safeguard your smile. Contact our friendly staff or stop by our Chanhassen, MN office to meet with one of our expert family dentists today. We look forward to meeting you!