Decay of the outer surface of a tooth as a result of bacterial action
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Pregnancy and Oral Health: Fact or Myth?
Many beliefs related to pregnancy and oral health have passed from generation to generation. Q1. Do women really lose a tooth with each pregnancy? • A common belief is that women lose a tooth with each pregnancy. But with good oral hygiene and professional oral health care, pregnant women’s teeth can stay healthy. Q2. Does an unborn baby really steal his or her mom’s calcium? • Another common belief is that the unborn baby takes calcium from a woman’s teeth, which causes tooth decay. This is not true. During pregnancy, women may be at greater risk for developing tooth decay because they eat more frequently to prevent nausea. Tooth decay is 100% preventable. But, if left untreated, tooth decay can cause toothaches and can lead to tooth loss. Q3. Are pregnant women really at a higher risk for gingivitis? • When women are pregnant, their bodies go through complicated changes. Many notices that their gums are sore, puffy, and prone to bleeding. These are symptoms of gingivitis, an infection of the gum tissue. Anyone can develop gingivitis. But pregnant women are at higher risk for gingivitis because of hormonal changes. If gingivitis is not treated, it may lead to a more serious gum disease that can, in turn, lead to tooth loss. Q4. How can pregnant women prevent tooth decay and gingivitis? • The best way for pregnant women to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis is to keep their teeth and gums clean. Brushing with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day, flossing once a day, and getting a professional dental cleaning is the best way to keep pregnant women’s teeth and gums healthy. Avoiding foods that are high in sugar also helps. If tooth decay is present, treatment in a dental office is the only way it can be stopped. If tooth decay and gingivitis are prevented or treated, there is no reason for pregnant women to lose teeth. Content Source Featured Image Source
How Pregnancy Affects Your Mouth?
Although many women make it nine months with no dental discomfort, pregnancy can make some conditions worse or create new ones. Regular check-ups and good dental health habits can help keep you and your baby healthy. 1. Pregnancy Gingivitis Your mouth can be affected by the hormonal changes you will experience during pregnancy. For example, some women develop a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis,” an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness. Your gums also 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 this. 2. Increased Risk of Tooth Decay Pregnant women may be more prone to cavities for a number of reasons. If you’re eating more carbohydrates than usual, this can cause decay. Morning sickness can increase the amount of acid your mouth is exposed to, which can eat away at the outer covering of your tooth (enamel). Brushing twice a day and flossing once can also fall by the wayside during pregnancy for many reasons, including morning sickness, a more 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. 3. Pregnancy Tumors In some women, overgrowths of tissue called “pregnancy tumors” appear on the gums, most often during the second trimester. It is not cancer but rather just swelling that happens most often between teeth. They may be related to excess plaque. They bleed easily and have a red, raw-looking raspberry-like appearance. They usually disappear after your baby is born, but if you are concerned, talk to your dentist about removing them. Medications Be sure your dentist knows what, if any, prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs you are taking. This information will help your dentist determine what type of prescription, if any, to write for you. Your dentist can consult with your physician to choose medications such as pain relievers or antibiotics, you may safely take during the pregnancy. Both your dentist and physician are concerned about you and your baby, so ask them any questions you have about medications they recommend. Content Source Featured Image Source
Treatment of Tooth Decay During Pregnancy
You can treat pregnancy tooth decay and get relief from its pain and discomfort. Here are some techniques that help cure tooth decay effectively. 1. Brush Your Teeth Regularly: During pregnancy, brush your teeth after every meal for about five minutes. Also, floss daily. Flossing after every meal will prevent or alleviate the pain in your gums. If you often vomit, clean your teeth after vomiting to clear off extra stomach acids in your mouth 2. Be Gentle: Brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled brush. If your gums are highly sensitive, use toothpaste available for sensitive gums. If you feel pain in gums after brushing, apply ice to minimize the pain. 3. No Sweet Foods: Sweets, cakes, candy, soft drinks, and various other sweet items contribute to tooth decay. So cut down on sweets and sour foods. Also, avoid dried fruits that stick to the gaps between your teeth. Eat fresh fruits. Make healthy choices to minimize the discomfort resulting due to tooth decay. 4. Go For Regular Dental Check-ups: Go for a dental check-up in the initial stage of your pregnancy to ensure you maintain good dental health. Also, go for dental check-ups periodically while pregnant to prevent the risk of some serious gum ailment. 5. Don’t Delay Dental Treatment Till Delivery: Tooth decay can lead to infections that may harm your unborn baby. If your dentist suggests a dental filling, go for it. Avoid putting it off till after your delivery. At the same time, do inform your dentist that you are pregnant. Content Source Featured Image Source
Causes And Symptoms of Tooth Decay During Pregnancy
Causes of Tooth Decay During Pregnancy Let’s look at why you suffer from tooth decay during pregnancy. Some of the major causes of tooth decay include: 1. Increased Acid in The Mouth: The high acid levels in your mouth break down enamel and trigger tooth decay. Your gums are more prone to inflammation and infection during pregnancy. Many pregnant women suffer from gum bleeding while brushing or flossing their teeth. 2. Dietary Changes: Pregnant women frequently crave for sour and sweet foods. Consuming sour foods and sweet drinks substantially increases your chances of contracting tooth decay. Symptoms of Tooth Decay During Pregnancy Now that you know what causes tooth decay during pregnancy let’s look at how to spot it. Many symptoms help you identify tooth decay in pregnancy. Here we list some of the main ones. 1. Pain in a tooth or toothache 2. Loose teeth 3. A lump or growth in your mouth 4. Sore and swollen gums 5. Mouth sores 6. Red-purple or red gums 7. Gums that hurt you on contact 8. Gums bleed when you brush the teeth 9. Bad breath Content Source Featured Image Source
Why Do Most Pregnant Women Suffer From Pregnancy Gingivitis?
What is Pregnancy Gingivitis? During pregnancy, about half of all women (60 to 70 percent) experience a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that is caused when plaque accumulates in the spaces between the gums and the teeth. The accumulation of bacteria can lead to the loss of bone around the teeth and can eventually lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. Pregnancy Gingivitis Causes Pregnant women are at increased risk for periodontal disease because the increased levels of progesterone hormone that come with pregnancy cause an increased response to plaque bacteria in the mouth. Pregnancy Gingivitis Symptoms If you’re pregnant, your dental professional needs to know about the first signs of gingivitis symptoms. Gingivitis is most common during months two to eight of pregnancy. Tell your dental professional when you are pregnant, he or she may recommend more frequent dental cleanings during the second trimester or early in the third trimester to help combat the effects of increased progesterone and help you avoid gingivitis. This extra plaque may cause swelling, bleeding, redness and/or tenderness in the gums. As a result, pregnant women are more likely to develop gingivitis even if they follow a consistent oral health care routine. Pregnancy Gingivitis Treatments and Prevention To control the amount of plaque in your mouth and to prevent gingivitis, follow these steps to reduce the bacteria that can lead to pregnancy gingivitis. Steps to Prevent Pregnancy Gingivitis • Brush thoroughly at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night • Take your time; you should spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth • Be sure to use anti-plaque toothpaste to help protect your teeth from decay and gingivitis • Rinse thoroughly after brushing to get rid of bacteria in hard-to-reach places • Remember to floss daily to help avoid the build-up of bacteria • Eat a healthy, balanced diet; be sure that you are getting enough calcium, vitamins D, C and A, phosphorous and protein. • Avoid sugary snacks • Continue to visit your dental professional regularly (once it is safe for the baby) Content Source Featured Image Source
Baby’s first tooth: 7 facts parents should know
Most babies will develop teeth between 6 and 12 months. There is a wide range of variability of when a first tooth may appear—some babies may not have any teeth by their first birthday! Around 3 months of age, babies will begin exploring the world with their mouth and have increased saliva and start to put their hands in their mouth. Many parents question whether or not this means that their baby is teething, but a first tooth usually appears around 6 months old. Typically, the first teeth to come in are almost always the lower front teeth (the lower central incisors), and most children will usually have all of their baby teeth by age 3. 2. Fluoride should be added to your child's diet at 6 months of age. Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay by hardening the enamel of teeth. The good news is that fluoride is often added to tap water. Give your baby a few ounces of water in a sippy or straw cup when you begin him or her on solid foods (about 6 months of age). Speak with your pediatrician to see if your tap water contains fluoride or whether your child needs fluoride supplements. Fluoride is not typically found in most bottled water. 3. Massaging sore gums, offering something cold, or acetaminophen, on an occasional rough night, can help soothe your baby's teething pain. Usually teething doesn't cause children too much discomfort, however, many parents can tell when their baby is teething. Babies may show signs of discomfort in the area where the tooth is coming in, the gums around the tooth may be swollen and tender, and the baby may drool a lot more than usual. Parents can help ease teething pain by massaging their baby's gums with clean fingers, offering solid, not liquid-filled, teething rings, or a clean frozen or wet washcloth. If you offer a teething biscuit, make sure to watch your baby while he or she is eating it. Chunks can break off easily and can lead to choking. Also, these biscuits are not very nutritious and most contain sugar and salt. A baby's body temperature may slightly rise when teething; however, according to a 2016 study in Pediatrics, a true fever (temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) is not associated with teething and is actually a sign of an illness or infection that may require treatment. If your baby is clearly uncomfortable, talk with your pediatrician about giving a weight-appropriate dose of acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or if over 6 months, ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin). Make sure to ask your pediatrician for the right dose in milliliters (mL) based on your child's age and weight. Many children, however, will have no problems at all when their teeth come in! 4. Do not use teething tablets, gels with benzocaine, homeopathic teething gels or tablets, or amber teething necklaces. Stay away from teething tablets that contain the plant poison belladonna and gels with benzocaine. Belladonna and benzocaine are marketed to numb your child's pain, but the FDA has issued warnings against both due to potential side effects. In addition, amber teething necklaces are not recommended. Necklaces placed around an infant's neck can pose a strangulation risk or be a potential choking hazard. There is also no research to support the necklace's effectiveness. 5. You should brush your child's teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Once your child has a tooth, you should be brushing them twice a day with a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice, especially after the last drink or food of the day. Remember not to put your baby to bed with a bottle—it can lead to tooth decay. Once your child turns 3, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)recommend that a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste be used when brushing. When your child is able, teach him or her to spit out the excess toothpaste. It is best if you put the toothpaste on the toothbrush until your child is about age 6. Parents should monitor and assist their child while brushing until he or she is around 7 or 8 years old. When your child can write his or her name well, he or she also has the ability to brush well. 6. Ask your pediatrician about your baby's teeth and fluoride varnish. During regular well-child visits, your pediatrician will check your baby's teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy and talk to you about how to keep them that way. The AAP and the United States Preventive Services Task Force also recommend that children receive fluoride varnish once they have teeth. If your child does not yet have a dentist, ask your pediatrician if he or she can apply fluoride varnish to your baby's teeth. Once your child has a dentist, the varnish can be applied in the dental office. The earlier your child receives fluoride varnish the better to help prevent tooth decay. 7. Make your first dental appointment when the first tooth appears. Try to make your baby's first dental appointment after the eruption of the first tooth and by his or her first birthday. Both the AAP and the AAPD recommend that all children see a pediatric dentist and establish a "dental home" by age one. A pediatric dentist will make sure all teeth are developing normally and that there are no dental problems. He or she will also give you further advice on proper hygiene. If you don't have a pediatric dentist in your community, find a general dentist who is comfortable seeing young children. content source