Can Pregnancy Impact Your Oral Health? – Pregnancy is an experience that many women live to forget – it’s not all glowy skin and beautiful round bumps. Pregnancy affects women’s joints, bones, hair, skin, hormones, and even oral health. When women are caring for two people at once, and one of those is sucking everything out of the expecting mother so that they can grow big and strong, it’s natural that the rest of the body might pay the price.
Oral health is precious – below, we’ll explore how pregnancy affects oral health and what expectant mothers can do to prevent any problems.
Why Pregnancy Affects Oral Health
One word and one word only: hormones. Women are plagued with an array of fluctuating hormones during pregnancy that leads to the stereotype of not messing with a pregnant woman unless you want to unleash the devil. A lesser-known side effect is problems relating to oral health. High levels of progesterone and oestrogen loosen the tissues and bones that form the structure of our mouths.
For that reason, good oral health practices are deemed essential for pregnant women.
How It Affects Oral Health
As the raging hormones loosen the tissues and bone structures, women become prone to problems like gum disease and loose teeth. Gum disease is where the gums become red, swollen, and often very sore. The result can be bad breath, shrinking gums, and teeth falling out. Luckily, regular brushing, flossing, and advice from the dentist can prevent the onset of gum disease.
Another issue linked to oral health, as the Red Tree Dental from Fairview Vancouver points out in their blog post, is low birth weight is a repercussion of gum inflammation during pregnancy. But, with effective treatment, the number of babies born preterm – gum inflammation is linked to the birth of preterm babies – is reduced by 50%.
Increased oral acidity linked to the rise in hormones is another common occurrence during pregnancy that leads to cavities. That might also happen if a pregnant woman has a sweet tooth craving.
Preventative Measures for Pregnant Women to Explore
Oral health may be in the pregnancy firing line, but there are plenty women can do to protect their oral health. The first is to brush twice daily and floss – helping to remove build ups of plaque and bacteria and neutralise the acidity caused by rising hormones. Flossing helps to remove build ups in between the teeth and gums that are linked to gum disease.
Alongside a great oral care routine, pregnant women should take a trip to the dentist for a check-up at least once, preferably a few months after conceiving. That gives a dentist the chance to review oral health and check for signs of gum disease and cavities.
For nine long months, pregnant women must battle the associated consequences of bringing new life into the world. Thankfully, most of these problems instantly melt away after giving birth as the body’s natural balance of hormones is restored. And there are plenty of things pregnant women can do to keep their bodies in the best shape until that time comes.