During pregnancy, your body undergoes a lot of changes. In addition to seeing your obstetrician regularly, you will need to schedule regular dental visits so your dentist can monitor your oral health.
What Happens to Your Oral Health When Pregnant?
Due to hormone changes, cravings, and morning sickness, you may be more prone to dental problems during pregnancy. Discover what happens to your mouth when pregnant and why it is important to see your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms.
If you suffer from severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), you may be unable to tolerate brushing your teeth due to a gag reflex. Vomiting can erode your enamel, making you more susceptible to tooth decay and tooth sensitivity.
Avoid brushing immediately after vomiting because the acid softens your tooth enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth with a baking soda and water solution to neutralize the acid. Rinse your mouth, then wait 30 minutes for your enamel to remineralize before brushing.
You may also see an increase in cavities if you have cravings for sugary or starchy foods and find it challenging to maintain your normal at-home oral hygiene regimen because of morning sickness.
When you are pregnant, your body stores water to supply the increasing blood volume needed for your baby. You also urinate more frequently. Both these things can lead to dehydration and dry mouth.
Dry mouth can be uncomfortable and lead to bad breath. To stimulate saliva production and alleviate dry mouth, suck on sugar-free hard candies.
Due to your pregnancy hormones, the inflammatory response in your body increases the number of bacteria in your mouth, leading to swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. This condition is known as pregnancy gingivitis, and according to the CDC, 60-75% of pregnant women have gingivitis.
Your dentist may recommend more frequent dental cleanings to combat the condition.
High progesterone and estrogen levels during pregnancy can cause ligaments to soften, loosening the connective tissue that keeps your teeth in place. In most cases, loose teeth during pregnancy are normal and temporary; your teeth will become more stable once you give birth.
Some women develop overgrowths of tissue during the second trimester called pregnancy tumors on their gums between their teeth. These harmless raspberry-looking growths bleed easily and can be uncomfortable, sometimes interfering with speaking and eating. They resolve themselves once your baby is born.
Dental Care During Pregnancy
Maintaining oral health is related to good overall health, making your oral care critical while pregnant. Preventative dental treatments during pregnancy are safe and minimize costly and more invasive restorative treatments later.
Preventative care is the focus of your oral health while pregnant, which consists of dental exams, X-rays, and a professional hygiene cleaning. Your dentist at Valley Dental Care may recommend more frequent exams and cleanings if you have signs of gum disease.
Maintain a balanced diet, avoid eating foods high in sugar and acid, and drink plenty of water.
Schedule a Pregnancy Dental Care Consultation
If you plan to become pregnant or are already pregnant, schedule a dental pregnancy care appointment with Valley Dental Care. Our experienced dental team can provide professional cleanings and exams throughout your pregnancy to prevent pregnancy-related oral health issues from developing into more serious problems.
Contact us today to discuss your oral health plan while pregnant.