You may have been briefed on some of the issues you are likely to experience during pregnancy and what might happen to your body. You may be prepared for the stretch marks and the morning sickness, but did you know that you might experience some dental issues too?
It can feel like there are a lot of issues to deal with, but you can’t neglect your teeth during pregnancy as this can potentially lead to long-term problems that last way beyond the nine months of pregnancy. Let’s dive into how pregnancy can impact your oral health.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Dental Health?
Like a lot of the changes that your body experiences, hormones may well be to blame. The body goes through a number of shifts and changes while you are pregnant and so many of your body’s normal systems are knocked off-kilter.
An increase in estrogen and progesterone can cause the body to start to produce more dental plaque, which can cause a variety of different problems.
Some conditions like gingivitis that are associated with this excess plaque can be found in as many as ¾ of pregnant women. This gives you an idea of just how prevalent these sorts of problems can be.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dental Problems During Pregnancy?
There are many different symptoms and ways in which dental issues can present.
The first things you might notice are bad breath and potential pain. Check your breath regularly to see if you have any weird smells, and don’t just put this down to one of the quirks of pregnancy, it can be a sign of bigger problems.
Pain and inflammation are telltale signs of dental problems at any stage, whether you are pregnant or not. If your teeth and gums are hurting then you might be experiencing some of the dental troubles brought on by pregnancy.
If you have an infection like this it can be very serious if left untreated. Gingivitis is common in pregnancy as we’ve already explained, and this can get more serious if it isn’t treated. This can cause periodontal disease and even mean you lose your teeth or damage the bones around your jaw. This is permanent damage.
In pregnancy, you can also get noncancerous “tumors” that develop from the addition of excess plaque, which are on the gums.
Seek the help of a dentist whenever you have concerns about your teeth during pregnancy, even if just to check that nothing is going to cause you lasting damage.
At the first sign of any issues, it is important to see a professional dentist. Below, we delve into some of the best ways that you can reduce the chances of serious issues cropping up.
Another potential sign of problems cropping up could also be sensitivity during pregnancy. Your teeth may feel especially sensitive due to the early signs of the disease brought about by plaque.
How Can You Prevent Dental Problems During Pregnancy?
It is very difficult to change the process of your body creating more plaque. For many, it is just one of many changes that you will have to go through when you are pregnant.
The same applies as always throughout your life, regular brushing is important. It is vital that you brush at least twice daily, and do so thoroughly with a quality brush, preferably an electric brush.
You should also use a quality mouthwash, which can help to kill a lot of the bacteria that can cause infections and add further complications during pregnancy.
It is also a good idea to floss. You can do this with a water flosser if you want to be especially thorough about it.
How to Deal with Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy
There are many ways that you can deal with sensitive teeth during pregnancy. Remember that the tips below are not an alternative to seeing a dentist.
- Make sure you brush and floss twice daily or additionally after meals if needed.
- Try to avoid too much sugar, and sugary drinks like sodas that can irritate teeth.
- Replace unhealthy, sugary snacks with vegetables and other healthy foods.
- Use a saltwater rinse every day to kill off bacteria in the mouth.
- Reduce the use of alcohol-based mouthwashes.
The sensitivity that you might experience can be a sign of further issues so it is important that you get thoroughly checked rather than take your chances.