It’s common knowledge that when a woman becomes pregnant there are drastic shifts in her hormone levels. Her body is undergoing big changes, and glands are sending out all kinds of instructions. Sometimes these changes can affect dental hygiene.
The possibility of tooth decay is greatly increased during pregnancy, partially because of common pregnancy cravings and a lack of energy (do you feel like skipping brushing?). But it’s your change in hormones that contribute the most to “pregnancy gingivitis” (inflammation of gum tissue). If left untreated, severe gum disease can cause tooth loss – your smile could end up looking more like your newborn’s, instead of the other way around. Severe gum disease (periodontitis) has also been linked to premature labor and even low birth weight infants.
Another not-so-pleasant issue for expectant moms is morning sickness. Vomiting contributes to tooth decay by exposing your teeth to erosive gastric acid. Rinsing your mouth out after every bout of nausea is good for your teeth, as well as your breath.
There are so many things to worry about while pregnant, don’t let dental problems be one of them! And as crazy as it sounds, if you have a healthy mouth during pregnancy, your baby will be more likely to have a healthy mouth as well. So see your dentist while pregnant and keep up those brushing and flossing routines. One day your child will have a beautiful smile too!