How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Teeth And Gums

Posted on: 1 July 2015

Discovering that you're pregnant might be an exciting event in your life; however, you might not realize that this event can place you at a higher risk for developing tooth problems. Because of this, good oral care and regular visits to a dentist are vital during pregnancy. With proper care, you may be able to prevent pregnancy-related gingivitis and other oral problems that can lead to toothaches, pain, and decay.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Teeth?

During pregnancy, your body will go through a variety of different changes, and one of the major changes is the fluctuation of hormones. Progesterone is one of the hormones your body will produce while you are pregnant, and an increase in progesterone in the body can cause and allow bacteria to grow in your mouth.

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease, which can be prevented through good oral care. It occurs when there is bacteria in the mouth, and it is harder to control this bacteria during pregnancy. When bacteria remains in your mouth, you are not only at a higher risk of developing gingivitis, but you could also develop other problems, including:

  • Decay – When decay forms on a tooth, it must be removed before it consumes too much of the tooth.
  • Pain – You may begin to experience pain with your gums and teeth from the increase in bacteria in your mouth.

After finding out you are pregnant, it is extremely important for you to begin taking extra good care of your teeth. According to WebMD, approximately 40% of pregnant women develop gingivitis, but you can prevent this from happening.

You should also be aware of the damage that can occur from nausea. If you suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy, throwing up may become a normal part of your daily routine. The acids that pass through your mouth can also damage your teeth. To protect your teeth after vomiting, you can chew on an antacid tablet. This will remove the acid from your teeth, which will protect them.

Why Is This So Important?

Taking good care of your teeth during pregnancy is not only important for your own health, but it is equally important for the health of your unborn child. Research in this area has concluded that women with gingivitis have a higher chance of giving birth prematurely. When babies are born premature, they are naturally smaller than they would have been had their mothers carried them full-term.

Another important factor to think about is that if you develop dental problems during pregnancy, you are likely to experience pain with the problems. Pain can lead to stress, and stress is not healthy during pregnancy.

What Can You Do To Minimize These Risks?

The best thing you can do to minimize the risks of oral problems during pregnancy is to take care of your teeth. Brushing and flossing each day are important tasks, but visiting your dentist during pregnancy is also important.

If you are concerned about the safety of dental visits during pregnancy, you should know that there is no harm from this. You should always inform the dental office that you are pregnant before your appointment, though, just so they know.

During your pregnancy, you can safely get your teeth cleaned, cavities filled, and other types of minor dental services that are needed. These procedures will not harm you or your unborn child, and they may actually protect both of you.

If you want to avoid dental problems, such as toothaches, during pregnancy, make sure you do all you can to protect your teeth and gums. To learn more about this, schedule an appointment with a dentist today or visit