Pregnancy is a beautiful and unique journey but can affect teeth differently. Oral health is essential while pregnant. Most women’s first instinct would be to avoid any medical and dental interventions of any kind during the pregnancy wrong! The healthier your mouth is, the healthier your baby’s mouth will be too.
Here are some ways in which pregnancy can impact dental health:
During pregnancy, hormonal changes occur in the body, particularly increased estrogen and progesterone levels. These hormonal fluctuations can affect the oral environment, making gums more sensitive to inflammation. This can result in pregnancy gingivitis, characterized by red, swollen, and tender gums.
Due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow to the gums during pregnancy, pregnant women may have an elevated risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It can lead to gum inflammation, gum recession, tooth loss, and other oral health complications if left untreated.
Pregnant women may be more prone to tooth decay during pregnancy. This can be attributed to changes in dietary habits and an increased craving for sugary foods, which can contribute to the development of cavities. Additionally, morning sickness and frequent vomiting can expose teeth to stomach acid, eroding tooth enamel and increasing the risk of decay.
Acidic reflux or vomiting associated with morning sickness can also cause tooth enamel erosion. The acid can weaken and erode the protective outer layer of the teeth, making them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity.
Some pregnant women may develop tumors in the mouth, also known as pyogenic granulomas. These non-cancerous growths usually occur on the gums and are thought to be related to hormonal changes. While pregnancy tumors are typically harmless, they can cause discomfort and may require dental intervention.
Proper nutrition during pregnancy is essential for the baby’s development, including its teeth and bones. Inadequate intake of essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus can affect the oral health of the mother and the developing baby.
The body undergoes many physiological changes during pregnancy, so delaying treatment when oral health has been compromised by pregnancy is not advised. Dental work is safe during pregnancy and recommended during weeks 14-20. If you have concerns about dental X-rays during pregnancy, over the years, we’ve gotten increasingly better at reducing the radiation dosage that’s produced when taking dental X-rays, with digital X-rays producing up to 80% less radiation, and the benefits of the diagnostic information far outweigh any risk to the baby. The beam is not focused anywhere near the abdomen; therefore, there is virtually no risk involved. Approximately 40 % of pregnant women have some form of periodontal disease. It also should be treated when pregnant. Research has been carried out over the years, which has shown links between gum disease and possible problems such as giving birth to a baby with a low birth weight, premature birth, and pre-eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure).
Informing your dentist about pregnancy is essential so they can tailor treatments and procedures accordingly. Visiting the dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings is crucial, as they can address any dental concerns and provide guidance on maintaining oral health during pregnancy.
Call Advanced Dental Center today at (203) 945-0068 and schedule your consultation with the best dentists in Norwalk, CT!