Pregnancy is an exciting time for expectant parents. But you might not realize that this condition can affect your health, including your teeth and gums. For this reason, you should not neglect your routine dental care, even when it feels like you are juggling many other medical appointments.
Regular dental attention can ensure that your pregnancy will not lead to irreversible damage to your smile. If you know more about the changes that can happen to your smile during this period, you can better prevent potential harm. Read on to learn about four ways that pregnancy can affect your oral health.
You can experience hormone fluctuations while pregnant, including an increase in estrogen and progesterone production. With higher levels of these hormones, you can see looseness in certain tissues, especially in your mouth. You might realize that your teeth feel loose or less secure in their place in your mouth.
When experiencing this effect, patients might worry that their teeth could fall out. But this is unlikely. The condition is temporary, but you may want to visit your dentist to confirm the cause of your symptoms.
Irreversible Dental Erosion
Pregnancy hormone changes can also make your oral environment more acidic. Acid within the mouth will eat away at your dental structure and erode the enamel, the outermost layer of the teeth. Weaker enamel may put you at a greater risk of tooth decay and other dental concerns.
Morning sickness can also contribute to enamel erosion because regurgitated stomach acid can damage the teeth. Rinse your mouth after being sick in order to reduce potential dental damage.
Once gone, the enamel will not regenerate, so you should protect your enamel from damage as much as you can. This means avoiding certain foods that could worsen the issue, like indulging in sugary cravings. Sugar becomes acidic when it reacts with saliva, which could further hurt tooth enamel.
Calcium Loss in the Teeth
A developing baby requires a great amount of calcium during pregnancy. If your body lacks calcium, it will draw this mineral from other sources, such as your teeth.
Tooth enamel is made primarily of calcium. If you suffer from a calcium deficiency, the teeth can become very weak, increasing your risk of tooth breakage, cavities, and more. Include plenty of calcium in your diet to avoid this issue.
Increased Risk of Gum Disease
Fluctuating hormones during pregnancy can affect your immune system temporarily. This may leave your smile vulnerable to oral infections, including gum disease. When oral bacteria reach the gum tissue, you develop an infection.
Gum disease often presents with uncomfortable bleeding and swelling in the gums. But it can have long-lasting effects on your overall health as well as your pregnancy if left untreated.
Seek prompt treatment for gum disease if you notice periodontal symptoms. And visit your dentist on a regular basis to prevent oral infections and protect your overall dental health, especially while pregnant.