Having dental problems during your pregnancy can affect the development of your baby. Gum disease and tooth decay are some of the most reoccurring problems women have during their pregnancy because, during pregnancy, the hormones used to help develop the child in the womb can affect the gums and teeth. Women that are prone to high-risk pregnancies, however, can combat this issue by brushing, flossing, and visiting their dentist for checkups. This is because the potential risks that can develop during pregnancy can become life-threatening to both the mother and child.
For women with underlying medical conditions and women who suffer from dental problems, caring for your teeth is one of the best ways you can have a safe and healthy pregnancy. We’ll inform you about how to care for your teeth during your pregnancy and how to help maintain your dental health for your baby.
Dental Problems That Affect You and Your Baby
Most often, the main reason why dental problems occur during pregnancy is because of how the body responds to pregnancy. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone often contribute to dental problems because of how these hormones influence the child’s development. These hormones cause inflammation throughout the body and thus make the gums more prone to irritation from bacteria and plaque and can cause the ligaments throughout the gums to loosen. Some studies cite that women during pregnancy having dental problems can increase the likelihood of the child having cavities and that periodontal disease has been associated with preeclampsia and premature births.
Overall, some of the most common dental problems that women experience during their pregnancy include:
- Periodontal Disease: As previously stated, hormones often contribute to the development of gum disease. If you have signs of gum disease, periodontal disease, or any issues with your gums, it’s important to speak with your dentist before your predicted birthdate to get appropriate treatments for a safer pregnancy.
- Enamel Erosion: For women who have poor gag reflux during their pregnancy, vomiting can cover your teeth with strong stomach acids. These acids can damage the surface of the teeth over time and increase your risk for tooth decay. If you consistently experience morning sickness, waiting at least 30 minutes and rinsing your mouth out with water can help keep your teeth clean and reduce the side effects of morning sickness.
- Tooth Decay: Tooth decay often increases with pregnancy as the combined effects of enamel erosion and gum disease lead to an increase in bacteria. Food cravings during pregnancy can also lead to a greater risk of cavities, so choosing something healthier to substitute can help prevent cavities from developing.
- Vitamin Deficiency: Women who suffer from calcium and vitamin D deficiencies will more likely suffer from dental problems. Supplementing these minerals can help protect your teeth and bones and supplement the needs of your developing baby.
Visit Your Dentist During Your Pregnancy
Most of all, if you are experiencing any dental problems, you should talk to your dentist about your teeth and gums and receive treatment as soon as possible during and after your pregnancy.