Lots of things change in a woman’s body when they’re pregnant – and teeth are no exception. For some women, this can actually lead to serious dental problems including gum disease and risk of tooth decay. Therefore, it’s important to take extra care of your oral health during this time, to keep both you and the baby happy and healthy. With this in mind, here are some common dental problems in pregnancy women may face:
Gum bleeding, tenderness, redness and swelling are all common dental problems in pregnancy as a result of changing hormones. They can cause your body to react more aggressively to the bacterial toxins found in dental plaque. This means that it’s more important than ever for you to maintain good oral hygiene at home.
Many pregnant women have obscure cravings, most often for sweet or sour foods. What’s more, lots of women also experience morning sickness which exposes the teeth to acid. All of this acidity can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay as well as sensitivity. The enamel of your teeth can become damaged, affecting your oral health.
Oral problems aren’t just a problem for mothers, but the baby too. Issues like periodontitis and tooth decay can increase the risk of premature birth, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. To prevent this, after eating, drinking sweet drinks or vomiting, it’s good practice to rinse the mouth with water or mouthwash.
Pain or swelling may occur near your wisdom teeth due to hormonal changes or improper dental care. Partially-erupted wisdom teeth or crowding in the back of the mouth can cause discomfort and increase the chance of tooth decay. It’s important to seek treatment quickly, as if the infection becomes more serious it could enter your bloodstream.
Some women may develop non-cancerous lumps called ‘pyogenic granuloma’ also known as ‘pregnancy tumours’, but they are not dangerous. These tiny lumps can form between teeth and bleed easily causing discomfort. They commonly appear during the second trimester. When you visit your dentist, they may recommend removing them. However, if they don’t bother you then they should eventually disappear on their own once you’ve given birth.
Another one of the dental problems in pregnancy that women may face is looser teeth. Even if you’ve got healthy gums, higher levels of progesterone and estrogen can affect the ligaments that support teeth. This is only temporary and rarely leads to tooth loss. Visit your dentist if your loose teeth are causing you discomfort and they can check that the movement is just hormone-related.
You should always tell your dentist that you’re pregnant. That way, they can tailor your check-ups to perform special checks and also avoid certain treatments. For example, the dentist may wish to put off taking x-rays until after the baby is born. For further information on dental treatment during pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our friendly team who will be happy to help.