Caring for dentals should not stop when you are pregnant.
For dear mom-to-bes, you can continue with your daily oral care per usual. In fact, you should actually take extra care of your oral health now that you are pregnant.
As we are all aware, a lot of hormonal changes takes place when one is pregnant. These changes of the hormones also effect the tissues and cells of our body.
Our body maintains and regulates the body using hormones, mainly to communicate with each other about changes in cell make-up or production.
Note: Not all pregnant women will face problems with their teeth or gums.
Hormonal changes also causes changes in your teeth and gums.
Therefore, we encourage expecting mothers out there to take good care of their teeth and practice good oral habits.
What Happens To The Teeth?
1. Increased Acidity
As per mentioned, hormonal changes that you go through during pregnancy can make a lot of changes to your body.
One of these changes happens in your mouth, where the acidity of your mouth increases. The rise in acidity of your mouth may lead to you getting attack with cavities.
Cavity are holes on teeth. In happens because the enamel of the teeth was exhausted and the acids begin corroding the teeth.
If the cavity is left untreated, it can become severe and your tooth will start to decay. Apart from not looking very pretty with its black/brown spot and holes, decaying teeth may also causes you a lot of pain.
2. Cravings Causes Cavities
This does not apply to all pregnant women but if you have been experiencing cravings for sweet foods, then this may happen to you. Especially if you have poor dental habits.
Other than your hormones naturally changing the acidity of your mouth, acid is also a byproduct of sugar residues in your mouth.
You may heard of the age old advice that you should always satisfy your pregnancy craving or else your child will be drooling all the time.
Well, if your cravings involves alot of sweets and sugary food or beverages, you have two options: skip it, or improve your dental care routine.
3. Loose Teeth
During pregnancy, your ligaments and bones are loosen to help the body adapt and support your growing womb. This is also caused by hormones.
Hormones Relaxin and Progesterone causes the ligaments to become more relax than normal which cause it to become more loose.
The laxity of your ligaments may be a cause for pain in your pelvis or cause you to become more clumsier with your movements while doing activities. But this hormones may also cause your teeth to loosen.
Don’t worry, you won’t start to lose your teeth now!
But you may want to consult with your doctor about it, in order to determine the root of the problem that may had cause it because it could also be something else.
4. Pregnancy Gingivitis
Pregnancy gingivitis occurs more commonly in the third trimester. Gingivitis is when your gums are irritated, swelling or intense redness. You may find your gums bleeding easily when probed.
In pregnancy, this is caused by an increase in your inflammatory response especially in the third trimester.
5. Pregnancy Tumors
Pregnancy tumor is simply an overgrowth of cell. In this case, there is an overgrowth of cell in the gums. Before you start overthinking, it is not cancer.
If you are experiencing this, you can see that there is a small swollen gum slightly protruding in between your teeth. It may be caused by dental plaques.
The build up of plaques causes irritation and the tumor is a reaction to the irritation. Pregnant women who has pregnancy gingivitis are more likely to get pregnancy tumor.
Note: When receiving dental treatment, do tell your dentist that you are pregnant if your baby bump is not yet visible. It is necessary to consider that your pregnancy may be a high risk one. Also some medication may need to be reconsidered to suit your condition.
Does Your Oral Health Affect Your Baby?
Yes, it CAN.
If your gum disease is severe enough, it can put your pregnancy at risk of prematurely delivering low-birth weight baby. Gum disease are also known as periodontal disease. Gingivitis and tumors are mild symptoms or in other words, an early stage of periodontal disease.
When periodontal diseases reach a level of severity, it is called periodontitis.
With periodontitis, you can lose your teeth permanently and worse part, the effects are irreversible.
In this stage, the infection is already attacking your bones surrounding your gums and teeth.
Other than pre-term and low-birth weight baby, baby’s born by mothers who are experiencing this will also have other health complications. Babies born pre-maturely have a high chance of developing health complications that can last a lifetime.
How To Care For Your Teeth While Pregnant?
Taking care of your teeth while pregnant is the same as everyone else. Here are some of things that you should do to ensure that your teeth is cared for the right way!
1. Brushing your teeth twice a day
Although we are advice to brush our teeth three times a day, you actually need only to do it twice. There is no such thing as brushing too much but experts recommend that we brush our teeth at least 2 minutes twice a day.
It is not recommended however to brush your teeth too soon after every meal.
Sometimes our food contains acid that weaken the enamel and brushing immediately may cause you to also brush off the enamel of your teeth.
2. Go For Regular Checkups
Scheduling regular checkups with your dentist for cleanings can help prevent any teeth problem. Apart from the dentist helping to make sure your teeth is free of tartar and plaque, they can also to detect if there is any problem before the problem develops – early prevention.
3. Floss Daily
Sometimes brushing alone is not enough so you may need to floss. Floss helps you get rid of any residues in between your teeth which may be hard for your toothbrush to reach. Flossing is also a great way to get rid of any food that got stuck between your teeth after a meal.
Check out this video for the proper way to floss your teeth!
4. Ensure Proper Diet
Watching what you eat not only applies because you are pregnant, but it can also be good for your teeth. Cut down on sugary food or drinks because sugar can turn into acid and harm the enamel coating of your teeth. Drinking a lot of water can also help ensuring both your body and teeth are in tip-top health.
The mouth is the gateway to your body which means your oral health also affects your overall health. So by taking care of your teeth, you are also taking care of your body.