As every mother knows, the joys of bringing a new life into the world come with plenty of less than joyful moments during pregnancy. The body’s dramatic changes – externally and internally, physically and emotionally – bring with them a host of unwanted symptoms, from morning sickness to back problems to more severe conditions. If you are expecting, those changes may also make your teeth more sensitive and prone to discomfort and pain.
How Does Pregnancy Effect Teeth and Gums?
For expectant mothers, the hormonal changes needed for a fetus to grow and develop also disrupt the body’s normal functioning and divert the body’s energy and resources from their usual jobs. This includes the body’s natural ability to fight bacteria and infections. Since bacteria are the primary culprit in gum disease and tooth decay, this decline in the body’s anti-bacterial defenses increase the chances that bacteria will develop. In turn, bacteria can evolve into periodontal infections which make gums more sensitive and prone to swelling and bleeding.
Teeth also may be exposed to an increased amount of acid from vomiting during pregnancy. That acid, left unremoved, can erode teeth enamel, making them sensitive and more prone to decay.
Another change during pregnancy that can cause oral sensitivity is increased blood flow. All of that blood pumping through the body goes through your gums as well, making them swollen and tender to the touch. The tenderness is particularly noticeable when eating hot or cold foods.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums While Pregnant
Good oral hygiene is always important, but it is even more so when you’re pregnant. Keep up the healthy routines and lifestyle choices that you had before you were expecting, including brushing twice a day, flossing, and avoiding cavity-causing foods. But the following tweaks may also help alleviate the sensitivity and pain that have temporarily become part of your life:
- Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush if you are not using one already
- Take note of the foods that trigger sensitivity or pain and avoid those as much as possible for the duration of your pregnancy
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, enhance saliva production, and reduce pregnancy-related dry-mouth which can increase the chances for bacteria growth.
- See your dentist at least once during your pregnancy.
Assure A Smile: Miami Holistic Dentistry For All of Life’s Changes
No matter what changes or challenges life brings your way, the dedicated team of dental professionals at Assure A Smile will be your partners in oral health. As practitioners of holistic dentistry, we firmly believe that good oral health is an indispensable part of an overall wellness strategy. To learn more about the importance of holistic healthcare and how to develop healthier habits for a better you, please contact us online or call us at 305-274-0047.