When you are pregnant, your body is undergoing physiologic changes that can affect your oral health. Some common conditions that you might experience are tooth mobility, increased cavities, pregnancy gingivitis or epulis, periodontitis (which is advanced gingivitis) and tooth erosion. With all the changes that your body is going through, it is important to maintain proper oral health care throughout your pregnancy.
As your body is preparing for your baby, your ligaments will loosen to allow for more room for your baby. You may also temporarily experience the ligaments in your mouth loosening around your teeth which is why it might feel like your teeth are moving. If you have maintained good dental hygiene prior to pregnancy and during pregnancy, this should not be a cause for concern; your teeth will not fall out unless you have other dental complications.
Patients often wonder why they are more susceptible to cavities during pregnancy. One reason is because of the increased acidity in your mouth during pregnancy. It can also be associated with pregnancy cravings. When you are pregnant, you may have cravings for more sugary foods and drinks that require more attention to dental care than you needed prior to pregnancy.
Pregnant women might experience an elevated inflammatory response to plaque in their mouth which will cause the gums to bleed and swell more easily. Plaque releases acids that damage the enamel on your teeth. This inflammation typically becomes more prominent in the third trimester. A good routine, brushing, use of oral rinses and flossing becomes very important to ensure that the plaque is being removed from the teeth. If you have experienced gingivitis prior to becoming pregnant, you might be more prone to this condition during pregnancy. Rinsing with salt water can lessen the irritation, but if it persists, you should consult with your dentist.
If you experience morning sickness, you might notice an erosion of the enamel on your teeth due to the heightened acidity levels in your mouth from throwing up. The gastric acids in your stomach can damage the enamel on your teeth, not only does this happen when you have morning sickness, you might also notice it if you experience gastric reflux, usually later in your pregnancy. Rinsing your mouth with baking soda can help alleviate some of this acidity.
If you maintain your routine dental health care, you should see a dentist twice a year. As a result, you should see your dentist at least once during your pregnancy. This is a great time to discuss any symptoms you might be experiencing and for your dentist to talk to you about the importance of being attentive to your dental care. At Lynn Dental Care we are your family dentist and we care about the whole family, including the newest member, your baby.