If you’ve worked your whole life to have a beautiful smile and healthy teeth, don’t allow all that brushing, flossing and dental appointments to go to waste! Sure, your hormones will go crazy during your pregnancy as your baby takes some of your nutrient, which often leads to certain dental issues. However, if you take even better care of your teeth during your pregnancy and follow good preventive dentistry routines, you have nothing to worry about. But, it’s always good to know thy enemy, so here are a few most common dental issues most women battle during pregnancy.
Probably the most common dental issue among pregnant women is pregnancy gingivitis or gum disease. The hormones associated with pregnancy can cause some women to be very susceptible to gum swelling and bleeding. It’s especially prominent while brushing or flossing. Other gum problems might also show, such as itchy gums, changes in color, and bad breath. So, once you notice these issues, make sure to visit your dentist and share this information with them. You will probably be recommended an antimicrobial mouthwash to regenerate your oral health, and using a softer brush.
Gum cysts or pregnancy tumors are also quite common, and even though they look quite scary, they are basically harmless. These swellings can be small, but also quite large, and are usually found between teeth. However, no matter how big, dentists mostly choose to leave them if they don’t affect eating and speech and cause no pain. They usually disappear after the delivery, but if they remain, they may be removed surgically. It’s much safer to handle them once your baby is born.
Another unpleasant oral issue caused by pregnancy hormones is mouth dryness. Most women don’t give this issue another thought, but it can actually cause all sorts of dental problems. First of all, your saliva has an important task to neutralize the acid that causes tooth decay. The second issue is bad breath that can be triggered by mouth dryness. So, if you notice your mouth going dry, have a glass of water or get a sugar-free candy to encourage salivation.
Many pregnant women who need a filling or get their tooth pulled are very concerned about the procedure. However, all that fear is irrational, because the medication that your dentist uses is completely safe both for you and your little one! Contrary to what was once believed, dental anesthetics don’t cause miscarriages, defects or premature births. So, if you need to have your root canal done, it’s better to relieve your pain than suffer through it and be under a lot of stress. Today, you can find a great endodontist with a lot of experience in the field who knows how to do the procedure very quickly and painlessly, so don’t worry! You’ll feel much better after you’re pain-free.
Tooth x-rays are also safe while you’re pregnant. The radiation from getting your tooth scanned is very low, plus you’ll get a leaded apron to cover your abdomen that will lower the radiation even more.
To make the whole deal about morning sickness even worse, it can also ruin your teeth. Most women don’t really care about their smile while trying to keep their breakfast down, but vomiting can really damage your enamel. The acid from the vomit causes enamel erosion and tooth decay, so make sure to wash your teeth after being sick, or thoroughly rinse your mouth.
Cavities are also quite common during the pregnancy. It’s mostly due to changed eating habits—more carbs cause more tooth decay! So, make sure to brush at least twice a day and floss whenever you can. Once you deliver and your habits go to normal, you’ll have healthy and beautiful teeth, so all this increased dental hygiene will be worth it!
Also, brushing and flossing might suffer during the pregnancy because it causes retching in many women, especially when cleaning molars and wisdom teeth. However, if you want to conduct proper dental hygiene, brushing is your first step. So, make sure to get a brush with a smaller head (there are types made for kids) and try to take your time. Some distractions also help, like concentrating on breathing or listening to music. If the taste and smell of the toothpaste is what makes you sick, try another brand, or ditch it completely. Water and a good fluoridated mouthwash will do until you can go back to your regular toothpaste!
All of the issues listed above, and especially gum disease, tooth decay and enamel damage, greatly contribute to teeth sensitivity. It usually manifests as sharp pain in teeth when they are exposed to hot and cold foods or drinks and cold air. To solve this problem, try applying a desensitizing gel or asking for a topical treatment when you next see your dentist. This can reduce dental sensitivity and make everyday activities much more pleasant and pain-free.
As you can see, there are many different dental issues that can bother pregnant women. However, if you boost your oral health habits, tweak them to your condition and see your dentist regularly, you’ll go through your pregnancy with healthy and strong teeth!