Surely we’re not the first to tell you that your body experiences many changes after you become pregnant. Some of these changes might be expected, like stretch marks and swollen ankles, while others may take you by surprise, like how pregnancy affects your oral health. We’ve outlined a few of the most common ways pregnancy affects your oral health so that you’ll know what to expect when expecting.
Why Does Pregnancy Affect My Oral Health?
You may have heard the old wives’ tale that your body will take calcium from your teeth to support your growing baby if you are not receiving enough in your diet–causing tooth loss. This is actually just a myth. What actually happens is that the changes in hormones in your body affect the way your body reacts to the buildup of plaque in your mouth. This means that your body’s normal ability to fight off some of the harmful bacteria in your mouth is weakened after becoming pregnant. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to take care of your teeth during pregnancy.
Gingivitis is the result of excess plaque around your gum line. The harmful bacteria that make up plaque find their way into pockets between your teeth and gums. When this happens, decay causes your gums to recede from your teeth, which is called gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. We’ve already discussed that pregnancy affects your oral health by increasing the amount of built-up plaque in the mouth, meaning that you are more susceptible to developing gingivitis while pregnant. Gingivitis is most likely to occur during the second trimester, and can lead to premature birth if left untreated.
Sensitive Teeth and Gums
Another common way that pregnancy affects your oral health is by causing sensitive teeth and gums. This is due to increased blood flow in your body, which can lead to increased sensitivity in your teeth. It is likely that hot and cold foods will cause some discomfort. To avoid this, it is best to eat food and drink beverages that are close to room temperature, and take note of foods that seem to increase your sensitivity.
Enamel Erosion Caused by Morning Sickness
One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy tends to be morning sickness. This uncomfortable side effect can lead to tooth enamel erosion due to the frequent presence of stomach acid in your mouth. Although your first instinct may be to brush your teeth immediately after a sick spell, that will actually cause the erosion to worsen. Instead, opt to only rinse your mouth out with fluoridated tap water to clear the acid from your mouth. Brushing your teeth while acid is still present can cause further damage to already-loose enamel.
Sugar Land Dentist For Pregnant Women
We know that pregnancy can be a scary and stressful time for women. We want to help you maintain proper oral health during this important time in your life in order to protect the health of you and your baby. If you would like to know more about how pregnancy affects your oral health and how you can maintain a healthy smile during pregnancy, contact A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe in Sugar Land, Texas to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists.