When you are pregnant, your body is going to be put under an immense amount of stress. You probably know all of the ‘key’ stresses e.g. the impact weight gain has on your bones, hormone changes, morning sickness, backaches, etc.
However, what many people fail to be aware of is the impact that pregnancy will have on their mouths. In fact, if you are not careful, your dental health can plummet during pregnancy.
The importance of dental health while pregnant
In a short while, we are going to run you through a few of the dental health issues that are caused by pregnancy. Before we do that, however, we want to talk a little bit about why it is so important to keep your dental health in check.
To put it simply; tooth pain hurts. It seriously hurts. Obviously, it is never going to hurt as much as the actual pregnancy, but having a toothache keeps you awake at night is not a good thing at all. Not to mention the fact that your teeth are hurting for a reason. There could be an infection. There could be serious tooth decay. Again, neither of these is going to be great.
Studies have shown that tooth decay can lead to issues with the pregnancy. In fact, a shade under 20% of all premature births is triggered by gum disease. As you may know; premature births can lead to all sorts of issues. These are issues that could impact the child for the rest of their life.
Finally; having an infection is not good when you are pregnant. Your immune system needs to work harder, and if the infection spreads, then there is a good chance that it could impact the baby.
Basically; if you are pregnant, then you need to stay in touch with your dentist. They can help to ensure that these issues are kept to the absolute minimum, if not eliminated altogether.
Let’s take a look at some of the big issues related to pregnancy and dental health, shall we?
Tooth decay can be a major issue during pregnancy for a couple of reasons.
For starters; most people who are pregnant are going to suffer from morning sickness. Vomit is, of course, quite acidic. If you are vomiting regularly for weeks on end, then your teeth are going to take quite a hit from the vomit. This will happen even if you believe you are brushing your teeth properly. It can be exceedingly tough to stop tooth decay in its tracks, so you really need to stay on top of things so you don’t end up losing teeth.
In addition to this; a lot of pregnant women will also have cravings. A lot of these cravings will be for sugary items. You probably don’t need us to tell you what sugar is going to do to your teeth.
Swollen gums (i.e. gingivitis)
When you are pregnant, your hormones are going to be doing a lot of things to your body. What people don’t tell you, however, is that your hormones could cause your gums to swell up. It may even cause them to bleed. This is a condition known as gingivitis. It can make it incredibly tough to brush your teeth, and you will suffer from serious pain.
To deal with this, it is recommended that you regularly head to your dentist or hygienist, who will be able to clean your teeth professionally. It may not be able to eliminate all the pain associated with swollen gums, but it should help to prevent the issue from getting worse.
Tumors in your mouth
Don’t worry. These aren’t ‘dangerous’. However, pregnant people are known to have tumors appear in their bodies on occasion. These ‘growths’ will often appear between the teeth. They can cause all sorts of issues that you probably don’t want to be dealing with. While they will likely disappear after a short while, your dentist will be able to remove them for you.
Gum disease and tooth infections
Some women note that they were more susceptible to gum disease and tooth infections during their pregnancy. Part of this may be due to it being harder to brush teeth (this can be difficult if your gums are inflamed). In other cases, it may be due to the body being a bit weaker and the immune system has more concerns than your mouth. Thankfully, regular trips to the dentist should be able to keep this at bay.
Difficulty brushing teeth
Finally; some women find that it can be difficult to brush their teeth while pregnant. Nobody knows what causes it (and thus it becomes difficult to deal with), but there is a chance that you will retch when you put the brush into your mouth. If you have these issues cleaning, then you need to talk to your dentist so something can be done about it…or at least to ensure that your teeth are being properly cleaned regularly.
Keep in touch with your dentist while pregnant
If you are pregnant, then you will probably be going for regular check-ups with your doctor. However, don’t just limit yourself to doctor visits. The health of your teeth is just as important. Talk to your dentist. Visit them regularly for check-ups for the duration of your pregnancy. If you ever have issues with your teeth, go and visit your dentist. Remember; it is easier to deal with dental health issues as they arise, as opposed to later on down the line when you have allowed them to spiral out of control.