How Pregnancy Affects Dental Health
Pregnancy is easily one of most cherished moments in the life of married women. It heralds the arrival of a new guest to the family. The happiness increases manifold with the expectation of the would-be baby. Expecting mothers thus try everything to take care of their health.
However, being pregnant also comes with certain challenges. It’s that phase in life when the body goes through changes. The production of hormones happens, and there will always be chances of hormonal imbalances. All such changes can affect different parts of the body, including the teeth and gums.
During pregnancy, more blood flows through the body, more acid is produced in the mouth, and hormone levels are always on the higher side. Since hormones are chemicals, they can harm the teeth and gums if care is not taken with them.
With these changes, it’s likely that pregnant women will have some dental health concerns which they should never ignore. Similarly, studies have proved how pregnancy can increase risk of dental problems. That’s why this phase calls for care and caution on the part of the expecting mother.
Pregnancy can affect dental health in many different ways, including –
During pregnancy, changes in the gums are quite common. The gums may look redder and may even bleed while brushing the teeth. Some women also experience sever swelling and bleeding. All these symptoms are related to pregnancy gingivitis which can occur as soon as the second month. Naturally, increased hormone levels are the reason behind this gingivitis which in some cases peaks around eight month before going away once the baby is born.
Similarly, progesterone level also rises some ten times during pregnancy which may help increase the growth of bacteria responsible for causing gingivitis. In some cases, weakness of the immune system during pregnancy is also responsible for gingivitis. However, women can start practicing good oral hygiene to reduce the effects of gingivitis.
Pregnant women should follow these oral care tips –
- Brush twice a day, clean gently and spend at least two minutes each session
- Floss daily between the teeth to wash away foods, plaque and bacteria responsible for gingivitis
- Use anti-microbial mouth rinse to minimize gum inflammation
- Consult the dentist and go for a professional cleaning
One in every ten pregnant women is at risk for pregnancy granuloma or tumour – a growth on the gums. they are not cancerous in nature, so not dangerous and certainly not to be extremely worried about. However, these tumours can cause discomfort.
Usually developed in the second trimester, pregnancy tumours are actually red nodules in the mouth but mostly near the upper gum line. These tumours bleed easily and if not treated, can take the shape of an ulcer. Apart from hormonal changes and viruses, poor oral hygiene is also one of reasons behind pregnancy tumour.
Pregnant ladies however should know that –
- Pregnancy tumours mostly go away on own after the baby is born
- You may also choose to get them removed if they cause discomfort while you eat or speak
- In most cases, the tumours come back even after being removed
- Take care of your oral hygiene and minimize the chances of their re-appearance
A lot of pregnancy women complain of loose teeth. They also fear of teeth loss due to this. Well, they should know that loose teeth are caused by high level of hormones in the body during pregnancy. Since these hormones (progesterone and oestrogen) are acidic in nature, they can affect the bones and tissues that provide firmness to the teeth and gums. This is how the teeth appear to lose their strength or firmness. It’s therefore always suggested to take oral care seriously during pregnancy and consult the dentist for any oral concerns.
Pregnant ladies are always at a greater risk for gum diseases. Most of them will have swelling and infection in the gums and gums. This can weaken the tissues around the teeth and make the teeth appear loose. Gum problems of whether mild or serious nature should never be taken lightly particularly during pregnancy as they always pose the risk of tooth loss. So, it’s always better to follow oral care routine regularly and seek dental consultation as and when something does not feel right.
Acids are always bad for the health of teeth and gums. Their presence in the mouth should always be a cause of concern. This is why dental health during pregnancy becomes tricky. There will be lots of acids in the mouth that will break down the enamel – the hard and outer layer of the tooth. And whenever there is risk to tooth enamel, chances of tooth decay grow. In fact, pregnant ladies who have morning sickness or who throw up often are more prone to tooth decay due to presence of more acid in their mouth.
Pregnancy is a time when serious tooth decay and gum disease are common. The acid levels are higher in the mouth which always poses the risk to dental health. Worse still, the gum problem or tooth decay during this phase may even lead to tooth loss. In some cases, the dentist is left with no option but to remove the teeth altogether. That’s why pregnant ladies should take their oral health more seriously and never worry about consulting the dentist ever.
Dry Mouth & Excessive Saliva
Dry mouth is one of major symptoms during pregnancy. A lot of women experience this, so they are all at a greater oral risk. Because, when mouth is dry, it loses the ability to wash away plaque, bacteria and food stuff stuck between the teeth. This can increase the risk of oral problems like bad breath, gum issues etc. On the contrary, some women may experience excessive saliva during pregnancy which however goes way by the second month.
To know more about oral health during pregnancy, consult best dentist near me and stay on the safe side always.