Navigating The Oral Health Concerns That Occur During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman brushing her teeth in the mirror

The nine months before you give birth to your baby are full of health concerns and frequent check-ups with your medical professionals. There are risks to your oral health during pregnancy as well, meaning that your dentist should be among those you’re preparing to visit. These risks come from the heightened need for minerals, vitamins and the general increase of demands on the mother’s body. Further, any existing problems involving the mother’s oral health could worsen and can potentially impact the health of the baby.  

 

Things To Be Aware Of Regarding Your Oral Health While Pregnant

As part of the process involved in creating a new child, the mother’s body will experience increased hormonal levels. Testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen are all necessary to the proper development of the child and the mother’s body to prepare to care for it after birth. These elevated hormone levels can cause the mother’s gums to swell and become tender, even causing them to bleed while brushing in a manner similar to gingivitis. This form of gingivitis is known as gestational gingivitis.

There are some serious concerns that can emerge from having poor oral health during your pregnancy. Even cavities have been shown to result in lasting consequences for the child the mother with cavities is carrying, putting the child at higher risk of cavities in their life. Other dental concerns that are common in pregnant women include:

  • Periodontal Disease: Gestational gingivitis is a well-known cause of advanced gum disease in pregnant women. You should immediately report any symptoms of gingivitis, including bleeding and/or puffy gums, before your birth date. There are things they can do during your pregnancy to help address these concerns.
  • Enamel Erosion: Erosion of enamel is a common concern reported by those going through pregnancy. This is particularly relevant in women who are experiencing moderate to severe cases of morning sickness. Nausea can cause the mouth to become more acidic, and vomiting only increases the exposure teeth face. Drink plenty of water, especially 30 minutes after a bout of nausea or vomiting.
  • Tooth Decay: Tooth decay is a common problem pregnant women face. There are multiple reasons, including cravings for sugary foods, high levels of morning sickness, and complications arising from gestational gingivitis. It’s essential that snacks are healthy snacks and that your dentist is consulted when symptoms arise.
  • Vitamin Deficiencies: The greater nutritional demands placed on the body during pregnancy means that an increased intake of vitamins is important. Your physician may prescribe supplements to help during your pregnancy. Serious consequences are possible if proper nutritional needs.

By observing these potential risks during pregnancy, you can be ready to respond when symptoms arise. Ensure that your pregnancy results in a future with beautiful smiles by taking some extra precautions.

 

See Your Dentist Frequently Throughout Your Pregnancy

You should consistently see your dentist at least twice a year, but while you’re pregnant, it can pay to add another visit or two. They’ll help you keep an eye on your oral health throughout your pregnancy and ensure you and your baby are both safe from the potential risks.

Alireza Movassaghi, D.D.S and Other Dentist Dr. Alireza Movassaghi brings 30 years of experience to the practice at Alvarado Family Dental Center. As a graduate of the USC School of Dentistry, he works tirelessly to expand access to dental care throughout the Los Angeles area. Along with his passion for expert dental care, he exhibits a love of soccer and beautiful cars.
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