When you become pregnant, there are a lot of changes in your body. But you may not think that your teeth are affected by pregnancy. Could having a baby really affect your oral health?
It may seem strange, but it’s a well-established fact that being pregnant can have some major effects on your teeth and your oral health. Learn more below in this post from Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry, and see how your oral health may be affected by your pregnancy.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase overall acidity in the mouth. This can lead to an increase in cavities. This is particularly true when these changes are accompanied by increased sugar intake, which is common due to pregnancy-induced cravings.
Another factor that contributes to a higher risk of developing cavities while pregnant is a decrease in attention to preventive dental care. In some cases, pregnant women may also develop a very strong gag reflex during pregnancy, which can cause them to retch and gag when trying to brush their rear teeth.
It is important to make sure that you’re brushing at least twice per day. You may even want to consider brushing three times per day to prevent cavities when pregnant, even if you have a strong gag reflex. It is also important to continue to floss once daily.
When you’re pregnant, your body releases a hormone called “relaxin,” which helps relax the cartilage that holds your bones together. This is intended to relax certain areas of the pelvis to make labor easier when delivering your baby.
But it doesn’t just affect the tissues in your pelvis. Your body will secrete 10x more relaxin while pregnant, which will also affect other joints and ligaments in the body.
This includes your teeth. They may wiggle a little more than usual while pregnant. However, if your mouth is healthy, this is nothing to be concerned about, and this will stop once you deliver your baby and your relaxin levels go back to normal.
This can happen at any time during your pregnancy, but is particularly common during the third trimester. Due to hormonal changes, your inflammatory response increases, and your mouth reacts more strongly to the presence of bacteria and plaque on your teeth. This may lead to pregnancy-induced gingivitis, which affects around 70% of all expecting mothers.
Again, you can mitigate your risk of pregnancy-induced gingivitis by brushing and flossing properly. You should also be seeing a dentist every six months, to ensure that you’re free of conditions like tooth decay and periodontal disease, which may negatively affect the development of your baby.
At Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry, we can refer you to a qualified dentist for your prenatal care. Once your little one is born, we’d be happy to be their new “dental home.” Dr. Jason Brock is an experienced pediatric dentist, and we’d be happy to care for your little one as they grow older and their teeth come in. Learn more by contacting us at (281) 461-7470, or come to our office at 17150 El Camino Real, Houston TX 77058.