As your body adapts to pregnancy, you may experience complications, including dental problems. If you do not give your teeth the care they need at that time, your dental problems may continue beyond pregnancy.
Knowing what issues to watch for during pregnancy ensures you give your teeth preventative care. Learn more about the common dental issues women face during pregnancy.
Only a small percentage of pregnant women get oral tumors. These tumors occur due to hormonal changes. Thus, they are non-cancerous and clear up as soon as you give birth. Poor oral hygiene also makes you susceptible to oral tumors, as excess plaque accumulates under the gums.
Oral pregnancy tumors may bleed, and if they are large, they make eating feel uncomfortable. Your dentist may surgically remove them.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy make women vulnerable to gum disease. This happens because as your hormone levels change, your body reacts differently to plaque. Pregnancy gingivitis is common among many pregnant women.
With pregnancy gingivitis, you may notice you have inflamed gums, which may bleed when you brush your teeth. Your gums will also feel tender and swollen. Your dentist can safely treat pregnancy gingivitis by cleaning the area under your gums to remove bacteria.
Periodontitis occurs when bacteria infiltrate the periodontium and cause inflammation. The bacteria also break down the periodontium, which creates loose pockets that eventually get infected. Periodontitis during pregnancy occurs when you leave pregnancy gingivitis untreated. Eventually, this gum disease results in tooth loss.
Treatment for periodontitis may call for surgery. But, when you are pregnant, your dentist will try non-surgical periodontal treatment first.
Periodontitis may result in poor pregnancy outcomes, such as pre-term birth or underweight newborns. Thus, you need to prevent the condition from happening in the first place. Practice good oral hygiene, and visit the dentist if you suspect you have gingivitis.
Loose teeth are another dental pregnancy in pregnancy that occurs due to hormonal changes. Increased progesterone and estrogen levels may loosen the bones and ligaments that hold your teeth, causing loose teeth. You may also suffer from loose teeth due to gum disease.
Loose teeth that do not result from gum disease are a temporary problem that resolves once your hormone levels stabilize after birth. However, loose teeth resulting from gum disease may result in tooth loss.
It is best to visit your dentist when you have loose teeth to rule out the possibility of gum disease.
Pregnant women are more susceptible to tooth decay due to dietary changes in pregnancy. First, most women crave sugary foods during pregnancy as their body requires more energy to sustain themselves and their unborn baby.
Frequent vomiting due to morning sickness also exposes the mouth to more acid than it is accustomed to. This acid may eat into the enamel. Additionally, some women have low calcium levels in the body as most of the calcium goes to the baby. Calcium deficiency may result in weaker teeth.
With cavities, prevention is better than treatment. Avoid sugary foods during pregnancy, and instead, eat sugar-free alternatives. Always rinse your mouth when you vomit. Also, do not brush your teeth immediately after vomiting, as their surface is covered with stomach acid, which makes the enamel vulnerable to scratches from your toothbrush.
Finally, include more calcium-rich foods in your diet, such as:
- Dairy products like milk, cheese, and sugar-free yogurt
- Nuts like almonds
- Dark green leafy vegetables
Dental care is essential during pregnancy because some dental problems affect the mother and the unborn baby. If you have dental problems, your dentist can safely resolve your issues and give you tips to care for your teeth during pregnancy.
Regular dental check-ups during pregnancy help prevent or identify dental problems before they become severe. Contact us today if it has been a while since your last dental check-up. You can be sure that our dentist will ensure you are comfortable throughout the examination.