Pregnancy is an exciting time for expectant parents, though you might feel overwhelmed juggling many medical appointments during this period. You might feel tempted to skip your routine dental check-ups to avoid the extra hassle. But your oral health is just as important as your other appointments, so you should not miss this preventative dental care.
Pregnancy will impact the health of your smile. So to avoid irreversible dental damage, you need to keep up with this dental maintenance. Understanding the changes that can develop in your smile during this period can encourage you to prioritize your dental health. Read on to learn about three oral health risks that can occur during pregnancy.
Heightened Risk of Gum Disease
A study published in Oral Health & Preventative Dentistry suggests that treating gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, in pregnant patients will lower the risk of pre-term births and increase birth weights. Gum disease can impact pregnancy. But pregnancy can make you more vulnerable to contracting this infection of the gum tissue as well.
Hormonal changes that occur within the body during pregnancy can make the gums more prone to infections from natural oral bacteria. Then gum disease can create widespread inflammation that will impact your smile and your overall health as well as that of your unborn child. Preventative care from your dentist will ensure your gums can stay healthy. And it ensures that early cases of gum disease in pregnant patients can receive prompt treatment safely.
Teeth Can Weaken and Erode
Pregnancy hormonal changes can also make the mouth more acidic. This acid can then eat away at your dental structure. This can cause irreversible damage to your tooth enamel, the outer layer of the teeth, increasing your risk for cavities.
Enamel erosion may also occur when you have morning sickness due to stomach acid within the mouth. To reduce harm to your teeth, rinse your mouth after being sick.
Developing babies require a great deal of calcium. So if you do not have enough calcium in your diet, the body will draw calcium from other sources, like your teeth. Your dental structure consists primarily of calcium. Without this mineral, the teeth could have a higher chance of decaying, breaking, or sustaining other damage.
Supplement your diet with plenty of calcium to protect your dental health. You should also stick to a proper oral hygiene routine to keep your teeth strong and better able to resist structural threats.
Loose Feeling in the Teeth
High levels of certain pregnancy hormones like progesterone and estrogen may have the side effect of loosening bones, ligaments, and tissues. So as a result, you might notice a loose feeling within your teeth. It may feel as if they no longer have a secure fit in your mouth.
Many patients worry this means their teeth will fall out. But this condition is temporary, and you will not be in danger of tooth loss. It is a good idea to seek an oral exam from your dentist to confirm the cause of this symptom though, just in case.