Pregnancy changes you inside out. Your insides are changing as well, and so are the insides of your mouth. Open your mouth wide and you might see some mouth ulcers – these are signs of pregnancy? Why do you have mouth ulcers during pregnancy, what are the causes and what are the treatments and what can you do to prevent them?
Mouth ulcer during pregnancy: Aphthous stomatitis
There are different types of ulcers depending on whether they are caused by viruses or allergies, but the most common are aphthous stomatitis – small, white, uncontagious sores also known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers. The cause of aphthous stomatitis aren’t known, but it’s thought that insufficient sleep, insufficient intake of nutrients, fatigue and a drop in immunity levels can cause an overall worsening of one’s physical condition and cause aphthous stomatitis to appear.
The baby in you uses up the nutrients in your body, and this can deplete the reserve of nutrients in you and cause aphthous ulcers to form. This is especially so in the first trimester of pregnancy when the hormone levels change and ulcers form on your tongue or on the insides of your mouth more easily than usual.
Treatment for mouth ulcer during pregnancy
Mouth ulcers make eating – not to mention swallowing your spit – a little too painful to bear at times. However, not eating because of the pain will further decrease the amount of nutrients in your body, and thus delay healing. Let mouth ulcers heal naturally if you want, but if they’re causing you too much pain, go to your practitioner. Hasten the speed of your recovery by doing what you have to.
Mouth ulcer during pregnancy: Over-the-counter ulcer ointment
The drugstore beckons to you with its wide array of drugs mouth ulcers. However, refrain from making your own diagnosis and deciding what medicine or ointments you should use during pregnancy. Ointments that contain steroids should also be avoided for expectant mothers, and only used when prescribed by the doctor.
Should the label on any medicine state clearly that it is “not for pregnant women” or “consult your doctor if you’re pregnant”, then take their advice. For example, Kenalog contains steroids, so heed the cautionary advice before using it.
You might have heard old wives’ tales about how using ulcer medicine gives babies with deformities, but there is no scientific explanation for any relationship between the two. So there’s no need to worry about this too much.
How not to get mouth ulcer during pregnancy
Mouth ulcers take time to heal, and they might appear repeatedly various times. During pregnancy, you might need to take extra precautions to fight the growth of ulcers in your mouth.
Keep your mouth clean
If you’ve always found brushing your teeth a chore, nothing will make you come to like it, even during pregnancy. Some moms find it difficult to brush their teeth when they have a bad bout of morning sickness. To prevent ulcers, though, you need to keep your oral cavity clean. Make brushing your teeth after meals a habit.
Pregnancy hormones can cause changes in gums and make them swell up and bleed easily. As your gums are more sensitive, get a brush with soft bristles so they don’t get hurt.
Having a balanced diet
Not getting enough vitamins from your meals can cause ulcers to form. As the saying “prevention is better than cure” goes, once ulcers form, changing your diet might not exactly be effective.
It’s best to try to prevent them from forming at all – to do so, you need to actively take in vitamins A, B and C so as to strengthen the mucous membranes inside your mouth. Green or yellow vegetables like carrots and spinach and fruits like kiwi and strawberries can give you the vitamins useful in fighting off ulcers.
Waiting for baby with a winning smile
Ulcers can create a snowball effect and result in other periodontal diseases, making a mess out of the insides of your mouth. Recent research has shown that periodontal diseases contribute to a preterm birth, so it’s also for your baby’s sake that you keep your mouth ulcer-free, gums a healthy pink and your teeth white and sparkly!
You want to have a great maternity life, so what better way than to eat lots of nutritious food, be free from the pain of ulcers and have a winning smile ready to welcome your baby to this world?