Pregnancy poses a lot of changes in a woman’s body. It also creates that 360-degree turn to your life in many ways than one. However, pains and gains are normal parts of pregnancy. You gain some weight and experience body pains and toothaches.
Some expectant moms will go the whole nine months with no oral health issues, however, the fact of the matter is that pregnancy puts you at higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease or also known as “pregnancy gingivitis”.
There is also growing evidence to suggest a link between gum disease and premature, underweight births. More research is needed to confirm how gum disease affects pregnancy outcomes. But it appears that gum disease triggers increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor.
Data also suggests that when gum disease worsens during pregnancy, there’s a higher risk of having a premature baby.
Teeth and Gum Problems Experienced During Pregnancy
Hormonal changes in pregnancy may affect your mouth. If your gums are feeling swollen or tender, you may be experiencing pregnancy gingivitis. Your gums may also be more prone to bleeding when flossing or brushing.
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious forms of gum disease. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to prevent this.
Increased Risk of Tooth Decay
A number of reasons may be behind increased tooth decay when pregnant. The first and most obvious is that as the baby develops you need to consume significantly more nutrients than usual and this, in some individuals, can mean not only an increased amount of carbs in your diet but also an increased frequency of eating both of which can make you more susceptible to decay.
In addition, during the first trimester, a proportion of women can suffer from morning sickness and the acid that is generated in the mouth can significantly weaken the enamel. Finally, during the final trimester as the baby gets close to full term many patients complain of acid reflux as the result of the pressure baby is putting on the stomach.
Bad Taste in Your Mouth
During pregnancy, you may experience symptoms of dysgeusia (changing taste buds or a bad taste in your mouth) or ptyalism (too much saliva).
Fortunately, this condition resolves after pregnancy and is basically harmless, but it can be annoying for a pregnant woman who is trying to eat right, and maintain good dental hygiene and prevent cavities.
Dysgeusia is distinct from the food cravings or food aversions that occur in pregnancy when pregnant women seek out certain foods that they might not have liked in the past or find that former favorite foods are unpalatable or taste strange.
Medications While Pregnant – Is it Safe?
It is important that your dentist knows how your pregnancy is progressing along with any medications you may be taking. This is especially important if your dentist is considering prescribing you any medications for either pain relief or dental infections so they can be sure that these are safe to use during pregnancy.
What Can I Do To Reduce Toothache During Pregnancy?
Brushing and flossing twice a day can fall by the wayside during pregnancy for many reasons, including morning sickness, a more sensitive gag reflex, tender gums, and exhaustion.
It’s especially important to keep up your routine, as poor habits during pregnancy have been associated with premature delivery, growth restriction, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.
Also, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly will help reduce dental problems that can occur in pregnancy.