One of the greatest joys in a woman’s life is the discovery of pregnancy. Almost as soon as you get a positive test result, your entire life changes. However, it is nothing compared to the changes that happen in your body as the baby begins to grow. You may feel tired, energetic, sick to your stomach, and more. Most all of these “symptoms” can be traced to the hormones that your body produces in excess as a way to take care of your growing baby.
What you may not realize before pregnancy is that those same hormones can also affect your dental health. If you start to notice changes, do not panic. It is normal and there are things you can do to help protect your teeth during this time.
Pregnancy and Your Oral Health
According to “What to Expect” it is quite normal for gums to become red, swollen, and more sensitive during pregnancy. They may also bleed when you brush or floss. In most cases, these issues will begin during the second trimester and it is all due to the same hormones that cause your sinuses to feel clogged. It is a type of gingivitis that stems from high levels of progesterone. Gingivitis affects between 60-75% of women during pregnancy. The good news is, if you treat it properly during pregnancy, it should go back to normal after your baby is born.
Other reasons for dental issues during pregnancy can be traced to the change in your eating habits, the fact that your body produces less saliva, and even the morning sickness that you likely experienced during the first trimester. When you have morning sickness, your teeth and gums are constantly exposed to stomach acid, which can damage them.
Although less common, some women may experience loose teeth, periodontal disease, pregnancy tumors in their mouth, tooth decay, and rarely, tooth loss. Hormones, stomach acid, and even a buildup of plaque can cause these issues.
Symptoms of Dental Problems During Pregnancy
If you are expecting a baby, you should know that there are certain symptoms that can indicate dental issues may be coming your way. These symptoms include:
- Bleeding, Swollen, or Sore Gums
- Bad Breath
- Mouth Sores or Lumps
- Discolored Gums
Many of these dental issues can be treated by deep cleaning your teeth. However, it is important that you tell your dentist that you are pregnant and combat the issues early in your pregnancy.
Preventing Future Dental Issues
Whether you are just finding out you are pregnant or already dealing with gum sensitivity, it is never too late to start preventing further issues. You should brush your teeth regularly with a fluoride enriched toothpaste. If you feel nauseous when brushing your teeth, you can still rinse and use a toothbrush. You should also do this after morning sickness hits to wash away the acid.
When pregnant, you may also crave a lot of sweet treats, which can lead to tooth decay. Since you are trying to prevent this, you may choose instead to have healthier snacks like fresh fruit, vegetables, and dairy products to snack on. In most cases, they will satisfy your cravings. They are also better for your baby.
Keep Your Glowing Smile Healthy with our Dental Tips for Expecting Moms
There are some who say that your oral health during pregnancy can somehow impact your unborn baby’s dental health in the future. This is why it is very important that you contact your dentist as soon as possible, even if you are not yet experiencing problems with your teeth and gums.
At Barron Family Dental we love seeing people of all ages with beautiful smiles. Therefore, we can help you combat pregnancy-related dental issues, before, during, and after the birth of your baby. We are also proud to say that we can give your little one their first dental checkups as well since we are here for the entire family. Simply contact us, or fill out patient forms online, and we will make your oral health our top priority.