Pregnancy is more or less a time of happiness for the woman conceiving and their partners. The body undergoes specific changes after a woman becomes pregnant; for example, some hormones start to overexpress, and some physiological changes are also seen. Like the rest of the body, the teeth also get affected. Let us discuss a little about the different aspects of dentistry treatment during the pregnancy stage.
Problems of Teeth related to Pregnancy
Several studies have been conducted to find a relation between pregnancy and teeth problems. The consensus of these studies depicts that hormonal imbalance and changes in diet are the two most typical causes of dental problems during this condition. The treatment for the diverse issues differs and is administered according to the extent of the symptoms. The usual problems are discussed below:
· As mentioned earlier, pregnancy induces the overexpression of several hormones in the body. The dental hospital in Coimbatore states that this apparent hormonal imbalance can negatively affect the health and conditions of the teeth. As a preliminary measure, using the ongoing dental practices and visiting the doctor will suffice.
· Scientific evidence suggests that a link exists between periodontal disease in the mother and premature birth of the fetus with the low-birth-weight at a rate of 18%. Prematurely born babies are known to exhibit problems with vision and hearing. In addition, reports of an increase in the risk of brain injury in premature babies are also present. So, treatment of gum disease during this period is advisable.
Causes of the Common Dental Problems
Apart from the evident biochemical change, some other factors may need pregnant females to undergo dentistry treatment. Some of the usual causes behind these issues are listed below:
1. Gum infection/gingivitis: This is generally observed during the second trimester. Symptoms include the swelling of gums, occasional bleeding, and pain in the gums, mostly during brushing and flossing.
2. Periodontal disease: This condition is often the result of untreated gingivitis. The issues are caused by the infection of the supportive structures of the tooth. If not treated, it could lead to tooth loss for the patient.
3. Pregnancy epulis / pyogenic granuloma: It is an outgrowth usually seen in the outer surface of the gums. It is characterized by red color, swelling, and periodic bleeding.
Although the gum problems subside after pregnancy, in some cases, the gum diseases have been observed to progress even after the pregnancy term ends. Such developments may require further specialist treatment.
· Morning sickness: The abundance of hormones during pregnancy soften the intestinal muscles that inhibit the regurgitation event. Dental experts say that the teeth can get covered by intestinal acids due to pregnancy-associated morning sickness or gastric reflux (throwing up the ingested food and drink). Recurring vomiting or reflux can damage the surface of the enamel and intensify the risk of tooth decay.
Pregnant women can utilize the following practices to minimize the damages occurring in the teeth due to the intestinal backflow:
- Do not brush immediately after a round of vomiting. The teeth become coated with stomach acid, and the action of brushing could damage them further.
- After a round of vomiting, rinse your mouth with plain tap water.
- After that, wash your mouth with a fluoride-containing mouthwash. If you don’t have mouthwash, smear any fluoride-containing toothpaste over the teeth and rinse thoroughly.
· Gagging while brushing
In some cases, women have experienced a gagging sensation or retching when brushing, especially in the back teeth. Therefore, it is important to brush all the teeth during pregnancy. In addition, the would-be-mothers may apply the following practices to minimize this event:
- Take your time during brushing and do it slowly.
- Use a toothbrush with a small soft head. If you cannot find it for adults, use the ones available in the market for children.
- Be calm at all times. Closing your ice and concentrating on breathing may help in some cases.
- You can also listen to music or pursue a hobby of your liking, provided it is not stressful or puts undue pressure on your health.
- Switch to a different brand if the flavor of the toothpaste is causing the retching. Alternatively, you can use water while brushing and then use a fluorinated mouthwash. Revert to using fluoride-containing toothpaste as soon as possible.
· Craving during pregnancy
During pregnancy, it is normal to have a craving for specific foods as per the best dental hospital in Coimbatore. Although, a pregnant woman should avoid sugary snacks as much as possible as it increases the chance of tooth decay. They can eat low sugar-containing snacks during the craving. Otherwise, you can avail of some healthier options like fresh fruits and berries. Always wash your mouth with fluoride-containing toothpaste after having snacks with added sugar in high amounts.
· Maintaining calcium levels
During pregnancy, ingesting of calcium should be increased to assist the bone development of the fetus along with the dental requirement of the mother. The following practices can be a source of naturally available calcium:
- Milk, cheese, fruit yogurt (plain or sugar-free)
- Calcium-rich drinks like milk, low-sugar flavored milk like almond or soy milk.
- Cheese and yogurt are recommended for individuals with lactose intolerance.
- Certain nuts like cashew or almond.
- Foods that contain Vitamin-D like fatty fish, eggs, margarine, Vitamin D-added milk, bread, cereals, or vitamin D supplements.
During pregnancy, the teeth also get affected adversely due to many reasons. So, for expecting mothers, taking care of the teeth as per the dentists’ advice is also a prime concern. Apart from consuming the required food and maintaining usual dental hygiene practices, a regular checkup with your dentist is recommended during the pregnancy.
Lesli is a Content Writer and loves to blog about health-related articles. She enjoys learning and specializes in guest blogging, blog publishing, and social media. She is an avid reader and loves writing impeccable content pertaining to health care.
All articles are either written by, or content checked by an ex-General Dental Council (retired) registrant. Information in these articles should not be taken as dental advice and are for general information only, you should always seek advice of your local dentist, if you do not have a local dentist you might like to search our register.