Your dental health, which is also called oral health, affects your mouth, teeth, and gums. It’s critical to your general health. And if you’re pregnant, it’s important for your prenatal care, which is the medical care you get while you’re pregnant.
Pregnancy can increase your risk for oral health problems, affecting your pregnancy. For instance, some studies have found a link between gum disease and babies being born too soon. When a birth happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is called premature. Premature babies may have more health problems at birth and later in life than full-term babies.
Taking care of your mouth, teeth, and gums while you’re pregnant can help you and your baby stay healthy.
How can pregnancy affect dental health?
During pregnancy, the changes in your body can affect your teeth and gums. For instance:
During pregnancy, your body makes more of certain hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen. These can make you more likely to have problems with your mouth.
The way you eat might change. During pregnancy, you may eat more of some foods than before you were pregnant. Diet can affect the health of one’s teeth.
You might brush and floss your teeth less than before you got pregnant. This could be because your gums are sore or you’re more tired than usual. Some women may feel sick when they brush and floss their teeth (feeling sick to their stomach).
During pregnancy, these changes can make you more likely to have different types of dental diseases.
The common problems include:
Cavities, also called tooth decay:
These are small spots on the surface of your teeth that are broken. Pregnancy increases the likelihood of developing cavities. You can give your baby the bacteria that causes cavities before and after birth. This can hurt your baby’s teeth as they grow up. Tooth decay can also lead to toothache during pregnancy.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, which makes them red and swell up. If it isn’t treated, it can lead to gum disease that is worse. The hormones of pregnancy can make you more likely to get gingivitis. Gingivitis affects between 60% and 75% of pregnant women. Some of the symptoms and warning signs are:
- Redness and swelling
- Tenderness in the gums
- Bleeding of the gums
- Shiny gums
When you have many hormones, progesterone, and estrogen during pregnancy, the tissues and bones that hold your teeth in place can temporarily lose. This can loosen your teeth.
If you ignore your gingivitis, it might progress into gum disease. This leads to serious gum infections and problems with the bones holding the teeth. Your teeth may become loose and need to be taken out (pulled). Bacteremia can happen if you have periodontitis (bacteria in the bloodstream). We need to address this problem right away because it is of the utmost importance.
These growths do not have cancer. They look like bumps on the gums, usually between the teeth. Tumors that are caused by pregnancy are red and raw, and they bleed easily. Too much plaque can make them happen (a sticky film containing bacteria that forms on teeth). Most of the time, these growths go away on their own after a woman gives birth. In rare cases, your healthcare provider may need to take them out.
- Tooth erosion:
Too much stomach acid may get on your teeth if you throw up because of morning sickness. This acid can hurt your teeth’s enamel, which is the hard outer layer. Morning sickness, also called morning sickness of pregnancy or NVP, is nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, usually in the first few months.
These are the most common reasons why pregnant women experience dental problems:
Common things that can lead to the causes of dental caries:
- Gum problems
- Cravings for sugary foods
- Gagging while brushing teeth.
How are dental issues treated during pregnancy?
Make sure your dental doctor knows you’re pregnant if you have a dental problem that needs to be fixed. Depending on your health, you can wait until after your baby is born to get treatment.
Some treatments that are safe to use while pregnant are:
Your dentist may be able to prescribe you medication that won’t harm you or your unborn child. Please inform your obstetrician if your dentist recommends any medication during your pregnancy. Avoid taking any medications before consulting with your obstetrician.
If your dental issues are quite severe, your oral care specialist can recommend different treatments to ensure your baby is not affected. Teeth diseases and treatment are generally looked at by your dentist and treated accordingly.
What can be done to prevent teeth issues during pregnancy?
Use fluoride toothpaste twice a day and floss once a day to keep your teeth healthy:
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. By brushing and flossing your teeth daily, you can get rid of plaque and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Visit your dentist even during pregnancy to avoid severe oral damage
- Consume healthy foods and limit binging on sweets
Dental problem prevention can be achieved in simple steps and does not require extreme steps.
Is oral care safe during pregnancy?
Yes! Dentists and doctors both say that getting dental care while pregnant is safe and a good way to improve the chances of a smooth pregnancy. Consult an oral care specialist to ensure you have no dental problems during your pregnancy phase.