How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Teeth and Gums?
Pregnancy can bring lots of changes to your body. The increased hormones are commonly considered as the main reason. And when you are being pregnant, what you eat can affect the health of your baby since now you are eating for two. How about your teeth and gums? Can they be affected by pregnancy, too?
Pregnancy symptoms can be very bothersome. For instance, nausea and vomiting (a condition called morning sickness) may give a big impact on your daily routines. The weight of your body that increases gradually as your baby grows can make you difficult to do certain tasks, too.
Experts blame the raised levels of pregnancy hormones (such as progesterone and estrogen) for the reason of the symptoms. But actually, the way of how these symptoms occur is not fully understood yet.
Regardless to the discomfort symptoms from pregnancy, the good news you will have a baby. This is a good thing what most women want – yap being a Mom.
There are lots of issues we can explore about this most challenging phase in a woman’s life. One of these issues is about the link between pregnancy and mouth problems (including gums and teeth).
Being pregnant can be hard /difficult on both of your gums and teeth. And the link between gum disease and pregnancy has been confirmed.
In general, the elevated hormones and some symptoms in pregnancy (such as morning sickness and food cravings) may play a key role in increasing the risk of developing problems related to teeth and gums.
The effect from vomiting
Many pregnant women experience nausea and followed with vomiting. The elevated hormones may have an effect in decreasing the performance of some muscles around the stomach. As a result, this affects the mechanism of the body in keeping food inside the stomach.
Vomiting related to morning sickness in pregnancy can come with strong stomach acid. This can coat the teeth. And with more episodes of this gastric reflux, this can be potential to cause damage to the tooth enamel. As a result, you are greater risk of decay.
To reduce the risk of this damage, the following tips may help:
- After vomiting, you may want to brush your teeth immediately afterward. But this idea is not recommended. Any vigorous action on your teeth while they are still covered high stomach acids can increase the risk of scratching more enamel of your teeth.
- Instead of brushing, it’s recommended to clean your mouth with the use of plain tap water. Use it to rinse your mouth!
- If necessary, you can follow the step in point ‘2’ with a fluoridated mouthwash.
- If you don’t have fluoridated mouthwash, you can use fluoridated toothpaste. Put a dab of it on the finger, and smear it over the teeth. Then rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water!
- If you need to brush your teeth, make sure do it at least about 60 minutes after vomiting.
Gum problems related to the elevated pregnancy hormones
It’s thought that hormone changes related to pregnancy may worsen or increase the risk of developing some of the following gum problems:
- A chronic gum infection such as periodontal disease may get worse during pregnancy. This condition is typically characterized by gum swelling. It may not or may improve after giving birth.
- Gum inflammation such as gingivitis. It can strike anytime, but it tends to occur about 3 months after conception or in the second trimester. The symptoms may include bleeding or/and swelling of the gums, especially when you brush your teeth.
The plaque can be a major reason of gum problem before, during and after pregnancy. But when you are being pregnant, the effect of the plaque in causing damage could be double. Therefore, dental care should be one of your major concerns when you are being pregnant!
If you have a chronic problem related to gums /teeth; make sure to allow your dentist knows! Avoid using harsh toothbrush, and brush your teeth at least 2 times a day, especially before going to bed!
Being pregnant means you eat for two, as noted before. This is acceptable perception as long as you keep your diet healthy and balance! But unfortunately, there are still pregnant women misrepresented this issue.
Some think that they should eat lots of calories. Yap, when you are pregnant, you need to increase your calories intake as well as other essential nutrients (especially protein).
But if you eat too much, you can gain weight more than expected! See also the normal range of weight gain during pregnancy in this section!
The problem may get worse when you experience unusual cravings of certain foods. This can put you at greater chance of eating foods high in calories such as sugary snacks that can be bad for the health of your teeth. Too much sugar you chew may raise the risk of tooth decay.
When the urge of craving strikes, choose healthy snacks low in sugar. If sweetness is the major reason of your craving, try with some fruits, they are sweet and healthy. And again, you need to eat anything in moderation and watch on calories!