Pregnancy is a beautiful time that requires proper prenatal care. Healthcare for expecting mothers increases the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby. Prenatal care helps avoid health problems that are more likely to occur during pregnancy. Following a healthy and nutritious diet, exercising, taking certain supplements, quitting bad habits, and avoiding contact with toxic substances is essential to every pregnant woman.
But it’s also important to monitor your dental health. Pregnant women are especially prone to oral problems. This means you should care for your teeth and gums properly. If you already have dental pain, keep reading to learn about its causes:
Dental cavities during pregnancy can be caused by cravings for sugary foods or morning sickness. But if you notice dental cavities, you should treat them. Pregnancy increases the risk of severe tooth decay which leads to pulp infection and abscess. Fortunately, most dental procedures and treatments are safe during pregnancy.
Gingivitis is extremely common in pregnant women due to hormonal shifts and imbalance in estrogen and progesterone. The prevalence of gingivitis in pregnant women has reportedly ranged from 30% to 100%.
Pregnancy gingivitis is marked by gum tenderness, swelling, and bleeding. This condition occurs when harmful bacteria accumulate in your gums creating gum pockets and inflammation. If left untreated, gingivitis turns into gum disease (periodontal disease).
As mentioned above, periodontal disease is the result of untreated gingivitis. It’s a potentially dangerous condition that’s linked to heart issues, lung problems, and Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, gum disease is accompanied by a gum recession and damage to the bones supporting your teeth. This eventually leads to tooth loss.
Morning sickness is often accompanied by vomiting. The acid from the stomach remains on the teeth damaging your enamel. Your enamel is a protective covering of your teeth, and the more your enamel is damaged the more pain and sensitivity you experience.
The signs of enamel erosion include tooth discoloration, sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures, cupping, and cracks and chips on the surface of your teeth. Fortunately, enamel erosion can be treated through tooth bonding, crowns, or veneers.
Keep in mind that dental treatment is safe for pregnant women. If you experience any issues from tooth pain to gum recession and loose teeth, don’t delay your dental appointment. Just don’t forget to tell your dentist that you’re pregnant.
Dental X-rays can be performed during pregnancy but depending on the month of your pregnancy, your dentist might delay some treatments. Since your baby’s vital organs are developed by the second trimester, doctors recommend avoiding procedures involving local or general anesthesia in the first trimester.
If you have a loose tooth caused by periodontal disease and your dentist can’t save it, you may need a tooth extraction. You can talk about tooth replacement options with your doctor such as a dental bridge or dental implant.
Prevention is the best way to avoid pregnancy-related dental problems and treatments. The less your teeth are exposed to problems the more they will serve you.
First, don’t skip your dental appointments. Your dentist can identify the problem at an early stage and start timely treatment. It’s also essential to follow proper dental hygiene which includes regular brushing and flossing. If you have morning sickness, rinse your mouth after vomiting and limit your consumption of sugary foods and fast carbs, since they lead to dental cavities and gingivitis.
Remember that dental care is essential for you and your baby. You should keep the whole body healthy to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.