Did you know that pregnancy can increase your risk of developing certain oral health conditions?
Taking care of your health is a major priority during pregnancy, and that very much includes caring for your teeth. This article breaks down how being pregnant can affect your oral health and what you can do to protect your teeth.
What Does Pregnancy Have to Do with Oral Health?
A lot of changes will occur while you’re pregnant, and some of these changes can affect the health of your mouth and teeth.
- Higher levels of progesterone and estrogen
- Dietary changes
- Gum tenderness
- Nausea, etc.
All of these can affect both your oral health and how well you take care of your teeth during pregnancy. For example, brushing and flossing your teeth can often make nausea worse, so many women skip these important steps of their daily oral hygiene.
Which Oral Health Diseases Can Be Caused by Pregnancy?
Being pregnant won’t directly cause oral health conditions. But it can increase your risk of developing:
- Cavities: Skipping brushing and flossing allows harmful bacteria present in the mouth to create permanent holes in the tooth enamel. Over time, cavities grow bigger and may even turn into tooth infections.
- Gum disease: An increase in hormones during pregnancy can also lead to an inflammation of the gums known as gingivitis, which over time becomes gum disease. Improper oral hygiene at this time can also contribute to the condition.
- Loose teeth: Extra hormones can also temporarily cause teeth to loosen.
- Enamel erosion: Many women experience morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy, which can lead to an increase in vomiting. This leads to teeth being exposed to high quantities of stomach acids, causing erosion.
How to Protect Your Oral Health During Pregnancy
It’s very important to get regular check-ups during pregnancy and talk openly with your dentist about it. They can provide lots of useful personalized care tips and support you in taking care of your teeth.
Some of the things you should mention to your dentist include:
- Any special medication you might need to take during pregnancy (even supplements) and
- Whether your pregnancy is considered high-risk or not
This, coupled with your best efforts to brush and floss your teeth daily, can help you reduce the risk of oral health issues. Frequent dental appointments give the dentist enough time to spot any signs of dental trouble and adjust their recommendations for you.
How Miles of Little Smiles Can Help
Dr. Mila Belgrade is a board-certified pediatric dentist who helps all kids in the Westchester, NY, area develop happy and healthy smiles.
If you have a little one on the way, we can help you learn how to take care of their oral health from day one.