Nausea, vomiting, constipation, heartburn, and varicose veins are all possible side effects. Pregnancy can bring on a slew of unpleasant symptoms. And those changes have an impact on almost every part of your body, including your teeth.
According to a 2019 study published in PLoS One, beliefs about tooth loss during pregnancy are prevalent in many societies and cultures. Is it true, however, that pregnancy can cause tooth loss?
Here's what you need to know about the effects of pregnancy on oral health.
Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that affect the gums more than the teeth, but there is no direct link between pregnancy and tooth loss.
It is highly unlikely that pregnancy would result in tooth loss. However, if this occurs, it is possible that there are other underlying conditions present.
This is extremely deceptive. Pregnancy does not cause uncontrollable cavities or tooth loss severe enough to necessitate implant-supported dentures. This is a completely illogical conclusion.
When tooth decay starts, it can take up to four to six years to penetrate through the enamel. Once in the inner layer of the tooth, known as dentin, it takes one to two years to wreak havoc to the point where the tooth may require extensive treatment or extraction.
People may experience tooth loss or decay for a variety of reasons. Poor oral hygiene; poor dietary and lifestyle habits, such as smoking or chewing tobacco; drugs; undiagnosed or untreated dental diseases, such as periodontal diseases; inability to visit the dentist regularly; and physical trauma are some of the more common causes.
There are numerous other underlying health issues that can play a role. It is almost never just one cause of tooth loss, especially when all of the teeth in the mouth need to be extracted.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60% to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, which occurs when the gums become inflamed as a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Changes in progesterone and estrogen levels can cause gums to bleed and become red and swollen due to inflammation.
Gingivitis, if left untreated, can lead to gum infections, increasing tooth loss risk.
During pregnancy, your teeth may feel looser than usual. This is due to your body's high levels of progesterone and estrogen. Increased hormone levels can temporarily loosen the tissues and bones that hold your teeth in place. However, this does not result in tooth loss, though it can be concerning.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), being pregnant increases your risk of developing cavities. However, this is not due to the pregnancy. Rather, it could be caused by morning sickness, which increases acidic exposure in the mouth, or by dietary changes.
Increased acid in the mouth can cause havoc on your teeth and damage the enamel on the outside of the tooth. Unfortunately, long-term damage is not immediately visible because it first erodes the enamel from the backs of the teeth.
If you have morning sickness, avoid brushing your teeth right after vomiting and instead rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to help restore lost enamel.
Changes in eating habits, such as late-night snacking or chewing on ice, can also increase the risk of cavities during pregnancy.
One in every four cisgender women of childbearing age has cavities they are unaware of. This is why visiting the dentist during pregnancy and treating periodontal disease and tooth decay in time is critical.
During pregnancy, you may neglect optimal oral health habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Morning sickness, tender gums, exhaustion, or a more sensitive gag reflex can all cause this.