Expected pregnancies are a wondrous and exciting occasion, and as dentists, it is our responsibility to make sure that pregnant women are taking good care of their dental health. Pregnancies and dental health can both be impacted by one another, and dental health most often gets neglected, leading to some severe complications that can affect the pregnancy outcome. Because of this complicated relationship, we’re here to explore the changes that happen while pregnant and help you through your trimester with grace.
What Happens To Our Mouth When Pregnant?
From the moment pregnancy begins to the delivery date, the process puts the body through numerous and drastic changes. Most of these changes often occur due to the elevation of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone during the gestation period. Because of the influx of hormones, the gums tend to become inflamed, known as gestational gingivitis; this condition can expose pregnant women to many dental problems during their gestation period, including:
- Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies: Dietary habits can occur during pregnancy due to regular cravings, with some cravings being particularly problematic for your oral health. That includes chewing on ice and eating sweets. With these diet changes and no way to substitute them, it can be easy to fall into a vitamin deficiency.
- Poor Enamel Strength: The enamel can greatly suffer during pregnancy, especially when gestational nausea’s present, which brings up more acidity in the mouth and can make it harder to brush and floss your teeth.
- Higher Cavity Risk: Through various factors related to hormones and poor nutrition, it can also lead to an increased risk for cavities, which can easily eat away at the enamel and quickly spread to adjacent teeth. The bacteria that causes the issue can also spread to the gums.
- Periodontal Disease: When not caught in time, gingivitis can easily turn into periodontal disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can present serious risks to both mothers and their newborns, as there’s a greater risk of tooth decay in children whose mothers had periodontal disease.
Besides speaking with your women’s health care provider, speaking with your dentist can be the best way to find out more about caring for your oral health during pregnancy. By working with your primary dentist or pediatric dentist, you can avoid unexpected problems during your pregnancy and keep both you and your newborn healthy. Make sure to schedule an appointment today to keep your teeth healthy and clean!