Does pregnancy really effect your oral health in such a severe way?
When it comes to pregnancy, there is a seemingly endless list of symptoms, and of course every woman and every pregnancy is different! One symptom you may never have thought about is that you may lose your teeth.
Unfortunately for some women, it's not like the kind of horrible dream where you lose your tooth and you wake up and dash to the mirror to make sure you're all dreaming. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can seriously affect a woman's oral health, making them more susceptible to gum disease. But we have some tips to avoid it, and you can start it before you even get pregnant.
Why are pregnant women more likely to lose their teeth?
One of the side effects of these nasty (but very beneficial) hormones is increased acidity in the mouth. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Another cause of tooth decay is increased sugar intake. Sometimes these cravings are really sweet and really hard to resist! The hormonal changes that occur are high levels of progesterone and estrogen, which help your body relax the ligaments, making it easier for your body to grow and change. Sometimes this also means tissue and ligaments in the mouth. This doesn't necessarily lead to tooth loss, but it can be worrying.
Increased blood flow combined with the above can lead to a common side effect of pregnancy, bleeding gums, so keep an eye out to make sure it doesn't cause further problems.
How to prevent tooth loss during pregnancy
Before you become pregnant, it's a good idea to have regular dental check-ups and make sure your oral health is in top shape before this hormonal cocktail kicks in.
Whether you are pregnant or not, it is recommended that you have a dental check-up and cleaning every 6 months to ensure optimal oral hygiene. It is important to have these tests during pregnancy and to tell your dentist that you are pregnant. This ensures that any treatment done is safe and that any changes can be closely monitored by the dentist.
It is important to avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible. A balanced diet is always best. If you're feeling hungry between meals, it's best to eat healthy snacks like vegetables and dips or unsweetened yogurt. Here are some ideas for healthy snacks.
Maintain good oral habits at home by brushing twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste, and flossing regularly. If you suffer from morning sickness, it's also important to brush your teeth after nausea to flush out the acid.
If you notice a significant change in your dental health, it's always important to talk to your dentist to avoid problems in the future.