Teeth are a kind of mirror of a person’s general health, and any change in the body may immediately leave its mark on teeth and gums. Pregnancy is one such thing: it causes hormonal shifts, which may reveal underlying disorders that you have not noticed before or trigger new ones. It is not uncommon for a pregnant woman to realize that her teeth are decaying faster than before. This is quite something to consider if you are planning to have a child.
Should I go to the dentist during pregnancy?
Yes, absolutely! Major health care specialists and associations insist that women should undergo dental procedures during pregnancy. That is pretty fair, because poor teeth and gum diseases can affect the mother’s and her child’s life. However, some procedures may be unsafe during this period. It depends on the woman’s body is reacting to changes taking place in it and how well she is doing. To secure herself against danger, she must discuss with her dentist whatever her gynecologist has told her about her condition. Not unlikely, the dentist will recommend her to put off some procedures.
What happens to teeth during pregnancy?
1. The strength of dental tissue depends a lot on the amount of calcium it gets from your body. A growing fetus may drain the woman’s body of calcium and weaken her teeth. They are more likely to develop cavities.
2. Many pregnant women develop “pregnancy gingivitis” – a gum problem, which is caused by hormonal changes that take place in the body during pregnancy. It causes tenderness in the gums, as well as swelling and bleeding. Another common issue is “gum tumors” – the swelling of the gums (it is not cancer!), which mostly occurs between teeth and usually disappears shortly after delivery.
3. Severe vomiting during morning sickness causes acidic damage to tooth enamel.
4. Many pregnant women experience cravings for sweet sugary foods. This tops off the damage resulting from the factors mentioned above.
What are the consequences of tooth issues during pregnancy?
If left untreated, tooth and gum problems can increase the likelihood of premature birth, low birth weight, vision and hearing problems, and even cerebral palsy in the baby.
How do I care for my teeth during pregnancy?
If you have found out you are pregnant or are planning pregnancy, please, notify your dentist and discuss it with him/her. Should any gum issues occur, go for a check and follow the dentist’s recommendations. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and choose a softer toothbrush.
If you have had a bout of morning sickness, there will be gastric acid on your teeth. Please, do not brush your teeth right after that, because the acid makes the enamel extremely sensitive to any physical impact. Rinse your mouth with tap or fluoridated water. Wait at least an hour and brush your teeth as you usually do.
Go on a proper calcium diet. It will keep your and your and your future baby’s bones healthy. Make sure that your menu includes calcium-rich products, such as milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, etc.