A lot of women expect the changes that come with pregnancy. However, one change that nothing prepares you for the changes in your mouth. In pregnancy, it is important to schedule appointments with your dentist as often as you do with your obstetrician. Recent research has shown that one of the causes of preterm delivery is periodontal disease.
Dental Changes That May Occur During Pregnancy
When a woman is pregnant, there are a lot of hormonal changes that occur and may cause increased acidity in the mouth, which will most likely cause an increase in cavities. Increased sugar intake (caused by cravings) may also be the cause.
During pregnancy, ligaments and bones in the mouth can loosen, this may cause the teeth to wiggle a little. Although this does not directly increase tooth loss, it is scary. Other underlying conditions may also cause a tooth to wiggle so it is important to have the dentist check out your teeth regularly to know the exact reasons for the sudden movements.
During the third trimester particularly, there may be swelling and bleeding of the gums caused by the body’s inflammatory response which increases the number of bacteria and plagues that stick to the teeth.
The bacteria and plaque usually release toxins that can lead to infections in the bones and gums. However, in extreme cases, the infection can find its way into the bloodstream and cause a major illness.
Suggested Dental Care During Pregnancy
Everyone must undergo a dental checkup at least once every six months, whether pregnant or not. People who have bad oral hygiene have a higher chance of having Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory infection, and oral osteoporosis.
Most preventive dental care treatments are safe for pregnant women but it is also important to inform your dentist of your pregnancy. Avoid delaying treatment as this could lead to an advanced illness.
Always ensure you follow up on all your dental care routines during pregnancy.
Always brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
Floss daily and reduce your intake of sugar.
If you notice your gums are irritated, rinse thoroughly with saltwater and see your dentist if it doesn’t help.
Finally, never ignore any changes to your teeth during pregnancy, never miss your appointments with your dentist so your baby will eventually be welcomed with a beautiful, healthy smile.