Can Pregnancy Increase Your Chances of Developing Gum Disease?

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect a woman’s body in many different ways; one such change occurs inside a woman’s mouth.

It is estimated that forty to fifty percent of all pregnant women will develop what is referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis,” a mild form of gum disease that is caused by increased production levels of the hormone progesterone.  These hormonal changes make it easier for certain gingivitis-causing bacteria to grow in your mouth and it makes your gums more sensitive to the build-up of plaque.

Taking care of your gums during pregnancy is very important. There have been multiple studies that have linked gum disease and premature birth. A study conducted by the Journal of the American Dental Association concluded that women with chronic gum disease were four to seven times more likely to deliver prematurely or have low birth weight babies than mothers with healthy gums.

Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis can range from a slight reddening of the gums and mild inflammation to severe swelling and bleeding gums, especially after brushing or flossing. Pregnancy gingivitis can occur anytime between the second and eight month of pregnancy.

The best way to avoid pregnancy gingivitis is to maintain proper oral hygiene. It is recommended that women brush twice a day or after every meal with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste containing fluoride. Flossing as well as using an alcohol-free, antimicrobial mouthwash daily is also suggested. In addition, don’t skip your dental visits just because you are pregnant. In fact, it is more important to see your dentist when you are pregnant. They can provide a professional cleaning and check-up.  Your dentist can also prescribe antibiotics if necessary.

By following these preventative measures, you can reduce your chances of developing pregnancy gingivitis as well as well increasing the probability of delivering a full-term baby.

If you are pregnant and would like to schedule a routine visit at Flushing Hospital’s Dental Center, please call 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

toothache, hurts of bad tooth, stomatitis, mouth ulcer

At any time our bodies can throw us for a loop with unexpected symptoms to sometimes throw us off our game. Ideally it would be great to have a live-in doctor for a quick fix but home remedies are the next best thing.

Toothaches are an annoyance that isn’t always the most affordable fix. If you aren’t able to get to the dentist immediately and the pain is too much to handle, this home remedy fix might offer you some relief until your appointment.

There are essential oils that help ease toothache pain include chamomile, myrrh, peppermint, and tea tree. Apply one drop of any of these or a drop of “Toothache Oil” to the tooth and the surrounding area to ease the pain.

Toothache Oil

1/8 ounce carrier oil

6 drops tea tree oil

4 drops chamomile oil

2 drops myrrh oil

2 drops peppermint oil

Place the carrier oil in a clean container and add the essential oils. Gently turn the container upside down several times or roll it between your hands for a few minutes to blend. Apply one drop on the aching tooth and the surrounding gum, as needed.

These remedies are only suggestions for temporary pain relief. If you develop a toothache, you should consult your dentist as soon as possible. The dental department at Flushing Hospital Medical Center is available to treat your dental pains. To schedule an appointment please call, 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

5 Reasons Why Dental Hygiene Matters

Female dentist smiling with man in chair

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Flushing Hospital wants you to think beyond your teeth and gums and learn how good oral care has some surprising benefits for your overall health.

Here are five surprising reasons why oral care matters for a healthy body.

  • Healthy gums for a healthier heart

One health concern may lead to another. Studies have linked oral inflammatory disease with elevated heart disease risk. Gum disease from extended bacterial exposure can lead to cardiovascular disease as it may increase the inflammation level throughout the body. Your dentist should ask about your heart health and family history of heart disease.

  • A healthy mouth could mean a healthier pregnancy

Regular checkups with a dentist and hygienist become even more important during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant should take extra care to keep their teeth at their best, not just for themselves, but for their babies too. Pregnant women with poor oral health may be at higher risk of delivering pre-term, low birth weight babies than pregnant women with good oral health.

  • There’s a link between gum disease and diabetes

People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. However, new studies suggest that serious gum disease may actually contribute to diabetes as it affects blood glucose control. This two-way link is a wake-up call to take care of your teeth, especially since the incidence of diabetes is rising.

  • Early screening for Oral Cancer

As part of regular examinations, dentists should check all soft tissues to ensure they are healthy. All dentists are trained to do a cancer screening as part of ongoing dental checkups, by inspecting the gums, tongue, lips and cheeks for anything suspicious or any unusual changes. A precancerous lesion can begin as a small white or dark red patch that may not be causing you any noticeable symptoms. Keep in mind that only about one-half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years, so detecting early signs of the disease is crucial.

  • Trying to lose weight? Brush your teeth!

Brushing your teeth signals you have finished eating and may help with portion control. Use this trick to your advantage – have a healthy meal and then, before you are tempted to overeat or indulge in sweet desserts, go and brush your teeth. This will tell your brain that mealtime is over. While brushing cleans your teeth and freshens your breath.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Smoking Effects Your Oral Health

Teeth bad company.

It is no secret that smoking can have a great number of adverse effects on the health of the smoker. It is only natural that oral health would be one of the areas most negatively affected by oral smoke inhalation. The most ideal option to reverse the damage to your teeth caused by smoking is to quit smoking but, in most cases it is easier said than done.

Smoking can cause many serious problems for teeth and oral structures. Gum disease is among the most common oral problems, putting smokers at an increased risk. Smokers are four times more likely to develop this problem than non-smokers. Gum disease occurs when plaque build-up is present. As a result tooth loss can occur. Due to the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, smokers are twice aslikely to suffer tooth loss than non-smokers.

Smokers are at a higher risk for developing leukoplakia, leading to throat, lung, and oral cancers. It can cause the salivary glands to become swollen and contribute to the break-down of bone structure. In addition smokers also have a harder time recovering from dental procedures such as plaque removal treatments, dental implants, and tooth removal.

Due to an increased and steady buildup of plaque and tarter, the teeth of a smoker are less attractive in appearance. Smoking also stains the teeth and can cause bad breath. In some smokers, the tongue can develop a condition known as black hairy tongue, due to a growth that may grow as a result of tobacco use. Smokers may also lose the sensation of taste and smell.

While quitting smoking is the most effective way to ensure better oral health, regular dental visits are a must. Given all of the risks and complications of smoking on oral health it is very important that smokers do not skip regular checkups with their dentists. During these visits, dentists can watch for signs of developing gum disease and oral cancers. Everyone should visit their dentist twice a year, but those who smoke should consider more frequent visits.

The Dental Department at Flushing Hospital Medical Center specializes in a wide selection of dental services. To schedule an appointment, please call 718-670-5521. The journey to quit smoking can be difficult, but you do not have to do it alone. Flushing Hospital’s smoking cessation team wants to help you develop a plan leading to your “quit day”. For more information please call 718-206-8494.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.