We hear it all the time, “I lost all my teeth when I had my children”, “My teeth were never the same” “I lost a tooth for every child” there are a lot of old wives tales about pregnancy and teeth but most are not true! Providing you practice excellent oral hygiene and cut down on sugar your teeth and gums will survive!!
Hormone changes during pregnancy increase the risk of inflammation of the gums, as a result of this the gums will bleed more easily. This condition is known as Pregnancy Gingivitis and it occurs in almost half of all pregnant women. In most cases the gingivitis will resolve after the birth as long as the patient is thorough with their oral hygiene and attends the Dentist/Hygienist on a regular basis so that they can be monitored. This will prevent the gingivitis progressing to a more serious condition known as Periodontitis, which is an advanced and irreversible form of gum disease.
Evidence of a link between poor oral health and how it affects unborn babies is growing stronger. Recent studies have suggested that poor levels of dental health in pregnant women can result in a greater chance of premature births. This is due to high levels of Prostaglandin a lipid compound found in oral bacteria which may induce labour. Pregnant mothers should maintain good oral health and a balanced diet. By snacking on healthy food while pregnant is key to preventing caries, so cutting out sugary snacks and drinks between meals will prevent your teeth from decaying. This will have an overwhelming positive effect on the development of the baby’s bodily health and dental health.
If you suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy you should not immediately brush your teeth as the enamel is weakened by the acid from vomiting. Instead you should rinse your mouth out with some water. It is also a good idea to eat little but often. We would also recommend sensodyne pronamel a daily toothpaste which has been specifically designed to help protect teeth from the effects of acid erosion.
If you have any concerns about your gums or teeth during pregnancy the staff at Creative Smiles would be only too happy to talk to you.
All of this means that now, more than ever, it is vital to look after your teeth during pregnancy!