How Does Pregnancy Affect My Dental Health?
You might be surprised to find out that not only does pregnancy affect your dental health, but your dental health during pregnancy can even have an impact on your child. One study found that 18% of preterm, low birth weight babies could be linked to periodontal disease in their mothers.
In this article, we will look at how pregnancy can affect your dental health and what you can be doing to ensure that your dental hygiene stays on point during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease
The global rates of gingivitis in pregnant women ranges from 30-100%. This is thought to be because of the increase of progesterone, which causes a more notable response to plaque bacteria. If left untreated the ongoing swelling can lead to periodontal disease.
As well as the potential effects periodontal disease might have on your infant if left unmanaged periodontal disease can cause:
- Recurrent gum abscesses
- Sensitive teeth
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
Fortunately, taking the right steps to protect your oral health can protect you from the disease.
Reasons for Dental Health Complications During Pregnancy
Other than the increase of progesterone, several factors can harm your oral health during your pregnancy. Firstly, your eating habits are likely to change. This can mean that you find yourself eating foods that are bad for your teeth that you wouldn’t normally eat.
It is common for pregnant women to brush and floss their teeth less than usual. This can be because of gingivitis making their gums tender or simply down to the fact they’re more tired than usual. Sometimes brushing your teeth during pregnancy can make you feel nauseous.
Vomiting due to morning sickness exposes your teeth to stomach acid. The stomach acid can damage the enamel of your teeth, which can lead to tooth erosion.
Pregnant women who struggle with morning sickness may resort to having ice chips to soothe themselves, however this can be damaging to the teeth as chewing on ice can crack or damage teeth, fillings and crowns.
How to Look After Your Teeth During Pregnancy
Your teeth are at greater risk while you’re pregnant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the necessary steps in your oral hygiene to make sure they’re well looked after.
Because your dental health has such a huge impact on your overall health. and the health of your baby, it is important to visit your dentist regularly.
You should schedule a visit with your dentist if you’re planning on getting pregnant or if you have recently found out that you’re pregnant. They will be able to explain how to best look after your oral hygiene during pregnancy.
Dental Hygiene at Home
It might be hard at times, but try to make sure you brush your teeth twice a day like you normally would. If you find that brushing your teeth is making you feel sick then try using a smaller child’s toothbrush. You can also try brushing later on in the day.
Try to avoid sugary or acidic drinks as much as possible. When suffering from morning sickness, wait for at least 30 minutes after vomiting before brushing your teeth to allow the tooth enamel to recover.
Healthy Teeth, Healthy Mother and Child
Your dental health is a crucial part of the overall health of you and your child. By visiting your dentist and making a concerted effort to protect your oral health during pregnancy you can help to protect yourself and your child from any possible complications.
If you have any queries about your dental health during your pregnancy then don’t hesitate to contact us.