#1 Pregnancy: You may not know this, but pregnancy can alter the health of your mouth. Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy can affect your smile. Some women develop pregnancy gingivitis, which is a form of gum disease. Gum disease is the infection of the gums and bones that surround our teeth. Symptoms can include red, sore, bleeding, tender or inflamed gums. You should mention experiencing any of these symptoms to your dentist. Some expecting moms think they need to wait until after the baby is delivered to visit the dentist, but this is not true. It is safe to continue your regular dental care which should include cleanings and checkups while expecting. Just be sure to mention your pregnancy to your dentist. He or she will be sure to keep the safety of your unborn baby in mind when deciding any treatment that may need to be done during pregnancy.
#2 Diabetes: People with diabetes are more prone to developing gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to bone and tooth loss. Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease is the best way to ensure saving your smile. Gum disease can be symptomless so even if you think your teeth and gums are just fine, it is so important to visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. Watch out for warning signs such as bleeding or sore gums, loose teeth, or a change in your bite.
#3 Heart disease: There is a link between gum disease and heart disease. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and free from gum disease is good for your heart as well as your smile! Here is your action plan to protect your heart and smile: brush and floss twice daily, visit your dentist at least every six months for a cleaning and checkup, and eat a balanced diet.
#4 Prescription and over-the-counter medications: Medications whether they are prescription or over-the-counter, including vitamins and herbal supplements, can affect your oral health. Many medications can cause dry mouth. This is a reduction in the saliva produced naturally in your mouth. Saliva is important to keeping your mouth hydrated. Without it, you can experience bad breath, tooth decay, and gum irritation. Be sure to notify your dentist of any medications you take, and update the list every time you visit your dentist. Your dentist may be able to recommend a mouthwash to increase salvia production.