Does Pregnancy Cause Tooth Loss?
Pregnancy can change your body in many ways. With your attention on your growing and developing baby, it’s common to overlook changes in your own body, especially those that seem unrelated to pregnancy.
Are You at Higher Risk for Dental Health Problems Due to Pregnancy?
Pregnant women are more susceptible to certain dental problems, such as periodontal disease and tooth decay or cavities. The reasons for this increased risk are variable and include hormonal fluctuations, more frequent snacking, morning sickness, and different food and drink choices.
It is important to prioritize oral health during and after pregnancy, even if you have neglected it in the past as it can affect your baby. For example, women suffering from gum disease are more likely to give birth prematurely and have low-birth-weight babies. Women who experience a lot of cavities or mouth bacteria are more likely to pass these bacteria on to their babies.
The Effect of Pregnancy on Your Dental Health
Pregnancy can have effects on your dental health that require careful hygiene at home and close monitoring by your dentist. Paying attention to your body will help you spot problems early. Some of the ways pregnancy can affect your oral hygiene include:
Gingivitis refers to swelling and inflammation of the gum tissue and is more common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes, particularly progesterone and estrogen fluctuations. In fact, up to three-quarters of pregnant women experience gingivitis. Signs and symptoms include swelling, redness, tenderness, and bleeding.
Conditions such as morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum can expose your teeth to stomach acid, which damages the surface (enamel) of your teeth. Morning sickness usually subsides in the second trimester, but if it’s severe or goes beyond that, it’s important to talk to your dentist about protecting your teeth.
Pregnancy increases the likelihood of dental cavities, which are areas of decay on or in your teeth. The primary reason for an increased risk of dental caries during pregnancy is a change in eating habits (i.e., eating late at night, snacking more often, or eating sugary foods).
Pregnancy hormones can cause changes in the bones and ligaments that support your teeth, causing your teeth to move temporarily. Although it may sound scary, it does not cause tooth loss. Seeing your dentist regularly can help you distinguish between pregnancy-related changes and dental problems.
While many pregnant people believe that the calcium in their teeth is used for the development of the baby, this is an old wives’ tale. Your teeth do not lose calcium during pregnancy.
Identifying Symptoms and Causes of Dental Health Problems
Knowing which changes are normal and which changes are worrisome helps you begin treatment as soon as possible. Common causes of dental problems during pregnancy include untreated dental problems before pregnancy, poor dietary habits, smoking, poor oral hygiene and malnutrition. Signs and symptoms of a dental problem that requires the intervention of a dentist include:
Bad breath, especially if it does not improve after brushing your teeth
.Sores or lumps in your mouth
.Gum problems such as bleeding, painful, red, swollen gums, including bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
.Gaps between your teeth that didn’t exist before
.Toothache, broken tooth, loose fillings or visible cavities
Actions to Help Prevent Dental Health Complications
You are in control of your oral health during pregnancy. Steps you can take to make sure you can protect your teeth (and keep them healthy) include:
.Find healthy ways to satisfy pregnancy cravings; For example, choose fresh fruit over sugar whenever possible.
.See your obstetrician for regular checkups to manage your overall health throughout your pregnancy
.Keep up with your routine dentist visits, at least every six months or more often depending on your dentist’s recommendations
.Practice good oral hygiene; Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, paying special attention to the gum line.
.Floss at least once a day
.Get dental treatment for any sign or symptom of a dental problem,
.Take prenatal vitamins and supplements recommended by your healthcare professional and
avoid brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting; instead, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to help regenerate tooth enamel.
.Avoid smoking and alcohol use before, during and after pregnancy to protect yourself and your baby