Pregnancy Effects On Dental Health

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When you're pregnant, you will do everything to ensure the health of your baby. Seeing your obstetrician regularly is important, as is seeing your dentist on a regular basis. Changes in your teeth and gums during pregnancy is common, and need to be recognized and addressed as soon as possible. Here are some ways pregnancy can affect your teeth and gums and what you can do about them:

Gum Disease

Many pregnant women will experience gum disease known as pregnancy gingivitis. This is caused by a pregnancy-induced inflammatory response and hormonal fluctuations and causes gum tissue to swell and bleed.

This type of gum disease may even cause significant pain or burning sensations of your gum tissue. If you are pregnant, do not neglect your dental health. See your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and examinations.

It is also important to take your prenatal vitamins as prescribed by your obstetrician. The nutrients in your prenatal supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, and folic acid will help keep your gums healthy and may help decrease inflammation in your oral cavity. If your gum disease gets worse, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who diagnoses and treats all forms of gum disease. 

Enamel Erosion

A condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum is common during the first trimester of pregnancy. Also known as severe morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum can raise your risk for enamel erosion. Morning sickness can cause frequent vomiting, and when this happens, acidic gastric contents can lead to erosion or your tooth enamel.

This may raise your risk for sensitivity, and may lead to cavities. When your tooth enamel becomes thin or weak because of erosion, cavity-causing bacteria have an easier time invading your teeth. If you develop hyperemesis gravidarum, see your obstetrician and dentist regularly.

While your obstetrician may discourage the use of anti-nausea medication during the first trimester of your pregnancy, he or she may recommend alternative treatments such as wearing anti-nausea wrist bands, consuming ginger, avoiding spicy or greasy foods, and drinking herbal teas. If your dental professional discovers signs of enamel erosion, you may be instructed to use a special toothpaste that will help repair your enamel, while reducing dental sensitivity.

If you are pregnant, see your dentist on a regular basis. Recognizing and treating pregnancy-related dental problems while in their early stages will help prevent complications such as severe gum disease, soft tissue damage of the gum tissue, oral infections, and cavities.