Being pregnant comes with a lot of lifestyle changes and your dental hygiene is one of them! While all mothers expect their bodies to change drastically throughout the nine months, few consider the impact pregnancy has on their teeth. That is why it is so important to uphold proper dental hygiene, such as brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and visiting your dentist on a biannual basis. However, as many mothers know, you should always expect the unexpected when pregnant. Here are some changes you may notice during your pregnancy, even when exercising proper dental hygiene.
As many as half of all pregnant women develop gingivitis during the course of their pregnancy. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, one of the most common gum diseases in the country, which commonly occurs in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Hormones make the gums more sensitive to plaque, which can cause swollen, bleeding gums, consistent with gingivitis. Brushing twice a day for two minutes can help mitigate the effects of gingivitis, but make sure to ask your dentist for other ways you can protect your gums.
Have you heard the old wives tale that you lose a tooth for each baby? Luckily, it’s just a myth, however, it is very common to experience tooth loss during pregnancy! According to the Mayo Clinic, changing progesterone and estrogen levels can loosen the ligaments and bones that keep your teeth in place, causing teeth to fall out. Be sure to talk to your dentist if you notice your teeth feeling unusually lose.
Unfortunately, morning sickness is extremely common during pregnancy, and occurs more than just in the morning. Vomit causes acid that eats away at the enamel of your teeth, so it is crucial that you brush afterwards and rinse your mouth out thoroughly to prevent any decay.
Speaking of sickness, another common symptom to occur during pregnancy is to feel nauseous when brushing your teeth. While there is no absolute cure to prevent this sensation, there are simple fixes you can do to hopefully stop the nausea. Simple fixes like switching toothpastes or even brushing your teeth at different times of the day can make a major difference. The most important thing to remember is to keep up with your oral hygiene, although it may be uncomfortable.
A question we are asked often is whether or not it is safe to see your dentist during pregnancy. The answer is a resounding yes! Just let your dentist know that you are expecting and they will be able to accommodate you and your needs. While there may be some procedures your dentist elects to not do during pregnancy, especially if you are high risk, most come without any side effects for you and your baby.