If you are a mom-to-be, you’ve got a lot to think about. While your oral health may not be at the top of your list, it is yet another area of your body that is affected by pregnancy. Changing hormones and other tendencies during pregnancy can trigger the following oral health concerns:
#1 Pregnancy Gingivitis
Gum disease is the most common oral health problem for pregnant women. A rise in hormones causes the gum tissues to become inflamed, typically during the second trimester. While hormones don’t directly cause the gums to become irritated, it does make the body less able to fight off bacterial invasion from plaque buildup.
Untreated gum disease not only causes tooth loss, but studies also show that gum disease is linked to preterm births. Therefore, your pregnancy is not the time to skip your routine cleanings and checkups at your dentist.
#2 Pregnancy Epulis
Pregnancy epulis is essentially a pregnancy tumor that occurs within the gum tissue, and less commonly on the palate or tongue. This is another oral health condition that is brought on by high levels of progesterone. Plaque accumulation also encourages the development of a pregnancy epulis.
It is usually not cause for alarm, but if the tumor bothers you or interferes with function, you may choose to have it removed. Most cases dissipate shortly after childbirth. If you notice a red, swollen area of gum tissues that bleeds easily when you try to manipulate it, let your dentist evaluate you for pregnancy epulis.
#3 Tooth Decay
Unfortunately, tooth decay is a common battle for pregnant women, especially those that crave sweets and find it difficult to brush without getting nauseated. If you do suffer from morning sickness, you may also have frequent episodes of vomiting, which can erode the enamel and expose the dentin layer of your teeth. If you find that your teeth are extra sensitive during pregnancy, you may have an area of decay or weakened enamel. Your dentist can recommend ways to protect your teeth, despite your struggle with morning sickness.
#4 Mobile Teeth
The realization that your teeth are a bit loose during pregnancy can cause panic. However, there are several moms-to-be that experience mobile teeth. Not only can advanced gum disease cause the gums to detach from your tooth roots, but the increased levels of hormones may also affect the supporting structures of the teeth. If you notice that your teeth have a slight wiggle to them, talk to you dentist. If gum disease is the culprit you’ll need treatment (deep cleaning) to reverse the problem. Otherwise, your mobile teeth may just be a temporary concern.
At Salt Run Dental, we love helping patients maintain a healthy smile through all stages of life, including pregnancy. We value the importance of carefully evaluating pregnant moms for the dental health conditions that they are most at risk for. Routine dental care is one of the biggest benefits you can give yourself and your growing baby!
Salt Run Family Dentistry
St. Augustine, FL 32080