Pregnancy and Oral Health

Pregnancy: Crucial Period for Dental Check-up

Even if you happened to be pregnant this time, don’t let your condition prevent you from seeing your dentist. Getting a checkup during pregnancy is safe and important for your dental health. Before your baby is born, you can take care of cleanings and procedures like cavity fillings, and your dentist can also help you with any pregnancy-related dental symptoms.

The ADA, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics all encourage women to get dental care while pregnant. It is a crucial period of time in a woman’s life to maintain oral health which is directly related to good overall health.

Good Oral Hygiene during Pregnancy

What might be a pregnant woman’s concerns be when it comes to her oral health? Firstly, a visit to the dentist can float a variety of issues a pregnant mom ought to be aware of while she’s with baby. Many women make it nine months with no dental discomfort, but pregnancy can make some conditions worse, or create new ones. A dental check-up comes in useful.

Due to hormonal changes, you can develop pregnancy gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness. Gums may bleed a little when you brush or floss. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious forms of gum disease. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to prevent the inflammation.

You can increase your risk of tooth decay. Pregnancy can make you more prone to cavities If you’re eating more carbohydrates than usual. Morning sickness can increase the amount of acid your mouth is exposed to, which can thin your tooth enamel.

You may be poorly disposed to good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing can be neglected due to morning sickness, a sensitive gag reflex, tender gums, and exhaustion. It’s especially important to keep up your routine, as poor habits during pregnancy have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Other concerns for the pregnant mom are, in absolutely necessary situations, medications for procedures, local anesthetics for treatment, and dental x-rays, which should be at minimum and effective levels.

We Welcome our Lovely Pregnant Patients at our Downtown Seattle Location

Over in Downtown Seattle, our pregnant patient’s well-being as well as her baby’s are top concerns. Pregnancy is crucial time for any woman to have a dental check-up as oral health is directly linked to general well-being.

Would You Know If Your Teeth Need Vitamins?

Vitamins and Minerals for A Healthy Mouth

Vitamins are for health maintenance, to supplement diet, or help treat a specific condition or deficiency. Some vitamins maybe also beneficial to the health of your mouth, and that includes your soft tissues, such as your gums, the tongue, salivary glands, jaw bone, and your teeth. What benefits your gums, tongue and jaw bone also ultimately benefit teeth which rest in their bony sockets and are supported by gingiva.

Hence, for your mouth to be healthy, vitamins plus certain minerals are essential must-haves. They are best obtained from their top food sources, so to know these may be your first step to a healthy oral state.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin A helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and salivary flow in the mouth, keeps gums healthy and ensures their proper healing after damage or infection. Good sources of vitamin A are fish, egg yolks and organ meats, like liver. Orange and yellow foods like carrots, mangoes and sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collard greens contain large amounts of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A for use.

The B vitamin group help reduce tongue inflammation and keep canker sores from forming. It is also a stress-reliever. B vitamins are found in poultry and meat, as well as in beans, legumes and green vegetables.

Vitamin C is essential for good periodontal health, helping prevent gum inflammation. It helps build and repair connective tissue in the gums as well. As antioxidant, the vitamin helps boost the immune system and speed healing. Scurvy, a serious disease affecting gingival connective tissue, is the result of severe vitamin C deficiency. Sources of vitamin C are citrus fruit, broccoli, kale, berries, and other fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin D helps regulate blood levels of calcium and phosphorus so that the body absorbs them. Calcium, needed by teeth and bones to develop and remain strong, require vitamin D. Milk, breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin D, cod liver oil capsules are excellent vitamin D sources. Calcium sources are dairy products, sardines, canned salmon, green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, cabbage, almonds, and fortified orange juice and soy milk.

Coenzyme Q10 appears to help heal, reduce pain and decrease the bleeding associated with gum disease, and reduce gum inflammation. It is found in pork, beef, chicken liver, some vegetable oils (including canola and soybean) and parsley (which is also good for beating bad breath!).

Find a downtown Seattle Downtown

Know more about healthy foods with their vitamins and minerals for optimal dental health. It’s good to have your friendly dentist around not just for treatment, but also for informed advice. Come see us in downtown Seattle.

Don’t Ignore the Health of Your Salivary Glands

Saliva Flow Gone Wrong

The presence of salivary glands in the mouth is for a purpose. The glands function by pouring saliva into the oral cavity through several openings or ducts. Saliva keeps the mouth moist or hydrated to ward off infection and so that salivary enzymes can break down the food so that it becomes digestible. There are 3 main sets of glands on both sides of the face. The largest glands located in the cheeks are the parotid glands. Submandibular glands are on the back side of the mouth and sublingual glands, under the floor of the mouth.

When salivary ducts get blocked for whatever reason, it can result to infection of the ducts and the gland itself. Pain, discomfort or swelling can be felt on that side of the face where the blockage occurs. Bacterial infections are common. The parotid gland can be infected by a virus that causes mumps to manifest.

Though common, salivary gland infections shouldn’t be ignored for they can lead to stone formation, in rare cases, to cancer. If saliva flow decreases or stops, saliva trapped in the ducts can solidify and become stones. If left untreated, the minor salivary glands (and they are many) and even one of the major glands whose saliva content cannot be released can crystallized and hardened.

Symptoms

The symptoms you will notice are dry mouth, pain on the cheeks and jaw skins, foul tasting drainage in the mouth, swelling of the glands and fever. Swelling of a part of the face indicates crystallization in progress. Fever is a sign now of ongoing infection. The pain and swelling may come and go, but you need immediate treatment to stop the gland infection. Most will resolve on their own, some will come back.

Precautions should be considered to prevent infection which can be due to poor oral hygiene and dehydration. There are good and bad mouth bacteria, and when the condition is ripe like low immunity or a sore throat, there can be a flare up of bad bacteria. So one must keep the mouth always fully hydrated by drinking plenty of water (8 to 10 glasses) especially when one is working in environments that are exceedingly warm or cold. It’s not a natural urge but a disciplined lifestyle. Also, alternating warm and cold water in the mouth can loosen blockages because the glands get stimulation.

Eat lemons and oranges, sour foods that stimulate saliva flow. Eat healthy and chew more, especially fruits and vegetables that can open up the gland ducts. When there is pain and swelling, massages and hot compresses can alleviate them. Above all, maintain proper oral hygiene. See your dentist for advice and treatment.

Not Ignoring Salivary Gland Health

Assessment of salivary gland health is part of your oral examination in Downtown Seattle dentistry. See us soon so we can prevent future problems before they can be problematic.