Dental issues are some of the most commonly ignored problems faced by women during pregnancies, but we’re here to tell you that it’s just as essential as any part of your health to care for your teeth and keep an eye on any potential conditions that may occur during and after pregnancy. When ignored, poor dental health can have an impact on pregnancies, and uncared for health can bring about greater consequences later on. For expecting mothers, we’re here to give you a small excerpt on why it’s important for women to pay attention to their teeth while pregnant and what studies say about the connection between pregnancy and oral health.
How Pregnancy Influences Your Dental Health
Pregnancy, one of the most dynamic states women can go through, requires a heavy amount of care and consideration when being proactive about their health and their newborn’s health. As dentists, we know how pregnancies can impact women’s oral health. Studies such as those found in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research concluded that many of the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy often impact women’s teeth and gums due to the increased amount of progesterone and estrogen. These two hormones aim to increase the amount of blood flow throughout the body, which can also expand the blood vessels throughout the gums. Because of this, gingivitis is one of the first and most common conditions that affect women during pregnancy, among other conditions such as:
- Cavities: Cavities can result from numerous factors; changes in diet, lack of oral hygiene, decreased saliva production, and raised acidity levels from nausea and vomiting can cause these tooth infections.
- Enamel Erosion: When nausea and vomiting occur more often, the tooth’s enamel can become more worn down and leave the teeth to become more vulnerable to cavities.
- Periodontal Disease: As the most advanced form of gingivitis, periodontal disease is considered highly severe and potentially dangerous for mothers because of the pockets of bacteria that can easily spread throughout the blood to the womb.
- Tooth Loss: When the gums become sensitive and the teeth begin to wear down, tooth loss is the final result of these issues and can occur as a result of periodontal disease and plaque development.
Protecting Your Oral Health During Pregnancy
When hormonal changes occur, one of the best places to check up on your oral health is to visit your dentist during your pregnancy; it’s especially important to schedule your dental routine during and after delivery. As dentists, we can provide advice on how to protect your teeth during hormone fluctuations, how to care for the early signs of gingivitis during pregnancy, and how we can care for your dental health after delivery. Our checkups can provide information on any pre-existing dental conditions that could exist to help keep you and your newborn safe from infection and disease and help you have a safe delivery date for your child.