While it is a beautiful time, pregnancy can bring its own set of problems for many. Unfortunately, it can also bring dental issues.
It is worth mentioning that pregnancy doesn’t necessarily damage your teeth, but the hormones produced in this time make you more sensitive to the effects of plaque on your teeth.
Another factor to consider is diet—if you are lacking calcium during this time, it will affect all your bones and not just the teeth.
What are the risks?
The main risk is that for mothers with gum disease, the baby may have low birth weight and there is also the possibility of a premature birth. This can lead to other problems such as cerebral palsy and issues with eyesight and hearing of the baby.
Pregnancy hormones make women more vulnerable to gum disease such as gingivitis, or worsen conditions such as periodontal disease, even increasing the risk of a pyogenic granuloma (an enlargement of a part of the gum that needs cleaning).
It is advisable to follow a strict dental health regime before conceiving and getting any dental problems taken care of before you have a baby. Most of these problems resolve after pregnancy, but you might need professional help if they do not.
Common reasons for dental problems
- Vomiting: Stomach juices are acidic. When you throw up, which can be a frequent occurrence during pregnancy, you can risk tooth decay, as this coats your teeth with acids that can damage your teeth enamel.
To prevent this, it helps to rinse your mouth. You can also use a mouthwash with fluoride, but avoid brushing your teeth as this can damage them further.
- Throwing up while brushing: The taste of your toothpaste or the action of brushing your teeth can trigger vomiting. To prevent this, use a brush that is made for children and try to distract yourself. Always follow with fluoridated mouthwash.
- Food cravings: Unusual food cravings mean more snacking. This can cause the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Try and choose substitutes such as fruits instead of processed products.
- Lack of calcium: Your body is developing a whole new human and will take your nutrition to support it; this is why you need to increase your calcium intake. Some common sources are milk, cheese, unsweetened yogurt and soymilk.
- Sensitivity: Hormones in pregnancy can also cause the teeth to become sensitive or loose.
It is always a good idea to do your research during this time to help you prevent dental issues. However, it’s an even better idea to get your teeth checked out by a professional for a full assessment.
You will need to let them know if you are expecting. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the best time to get minor dental work done is the second trimester, involving services such as cavity fillings and crowns.
During this time, let us be of help to you. We at Bethesda Dental Health strive to provide the most comfortable environment and the highest quality care to our patients.
We care so much about your dental health that you receive a FREE professional Dental Whitening Kit with your first exam. So book yours today and ensure a healthy 9 months for you and your baby.