Pregnancy can affect just about every part of your body, causing everything from heartburn to swollen ankles. Your teeth and gums can also change during pregnancy. So, which dental problems can occur during pregnancy? Let’s take a look and get you back to dental health:
If you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to develop gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth. Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can increase the growth of bacteria that cause gum disease.
Do your gums bleed when you floss or brush your teeth? They may even look swollen and redder than normal. These symptoms are very common late in pregnancy, around the eighth month. They often taper off after you have your baby.
What to do: Practice good oral hygiene. Brush thoroughly twice a day, and floss every day. Also use an antimicrobial mouth rinse. It’s important to have your gums checked while you’re pregnant. A professional cleaning can be done at any time during pregnancy, and it can usually help.
Many pregnant women experience morning sickness. If it’s severe and frequent enough, vomiting can erode your tooth enamel on the back of your front teeth. Heartburn, a common pregnancy-related ailment, can cause stomach acid to flow into your mouth. This acid can also damage your teeth.
What to do: Brush your teeth as soon as possible after you vomit. It can also help to rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water. Let us know if you’re having severe morning sickness or heartburn. We can help make sure it’s not damaging your teeth. Also let your ob/gyn know, so he or she can suggest ways, such as taking an antacid, to treat these issues.
Pregnancy granuloma is a growth on your gums that can develop in the second trimester. These red nodules bleed easily and can form an ulcer.
These growths are sometimes called pregnancy tumors, but don’t let that name scare you – they’re not tumors and have nothing to do with cancer. They can be uncomfortable, but they’re not dangerous. If the growth interferes with your ability to speak or eat, you may need to have it removed. Growths usually go away after your baby is born.
What to do: Practice good brushing and flossing. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to an increased likelihood of developing these growths. Also be sure to let us know if it’s interfering with speaking or eating.
Dental problems may make you reluctant to visit the dentist while you’re pregnant, but regular dental care is even more important during pregnancy. Knowing which dental problems can occur during pregnancy can help you be alert to any potential issues.
Schedule an appointment with My Family Dentistry, and we can help make sure your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible during this important time in your life.