What Oral Health Risks Increase During Pregnancy?

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It’s important for everyone to take part in good oral hygiene, especially mothers-to-be. For those expecting a new member of the family to come into their lives, a mother’s health is vital to successful, healthy delivery. However, one of the most ignored aspects of their health is oral health. It’s important for mothers to care for their teeth and gums because having oral health problems can increase the risk of complications later on through the trimester, and being pregnant can increase the risk of oral health problems.

Visiting your dentist is all about designing treatment plans that meet your needs, especially if you have oral health complications that prevent you from living your best life. Throughout this article, we will explore the various risks involved with pregnancy and inform you why it’s important to care for your smile while pregnant.

How Your Oral Health Impacts Your Pregnancy

Because mothers make many sacrifices, it can be challenging to handle some of the troublesome aspects of pregnancy. Nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, food cravings, and mood swings can make keeping your health in check difficult. Because of the various ways a mother’s bodies change throughout pregnancy, it can also be hard to keep your oral health in check. Taking care of your teeth makes a huge difference in your pregnancy because it’s an essential part of your prenatal care.

The drastic changes that occur throughout the next trimesters often impact oral health in drastic ways, making it difficult to keep up. These changes can lead to issues such as:

  • Enamel Loss: Many of the foods we commonly eat will contain acids, but in many cases, these acids won’t affect our teeth immediately. However, women suffering from nausea and vomiting will often experience more acid erosion within their mouths, which can weaken enamel over time and cause a greater risk of cavities.
  • Cavities: As the enamel wears down, pregnant women’s teeth will also become more prone to cavities over time. These small areas of plaque-infested enamel will develop over time quickly and can be even more aggravated by hormone-induced gingivitis.
  • Pregnancy-Related Gingivitis: As one of the more prominent issues faced by pregnant women, studies from the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research, many of the hormonal changes that occur can cause blood pressure to rise, increase inflammation, which can cause the gums to swell and become more vulnerable to infection. Infected gums can increase the risk of preeclampsia and premature births in pregnant women.
  • Loose Teeth: Many of those hormones can also temporarily loosen teeth from their sockets due to the vast amounts of pressure build-up from the combination of gum disease and enamel loss.

Caring For Yourself With Prenatal and Dental Care

Overall, many of these risks can be avoided with proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly. However, if you find that you’re having issues maintaining your oral health during your pregnancy, then scheduling an appointment is the best solution towards a healthy pregnancy.

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Dr. Brian Black

Dr. Brian P. Black was born and raised in Southern California. He graduated from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD) in May 2000 and then completed advanced training in the U.S. Air Force. He has had a broad experience within the dental industry. Dr. Brian is proudly serving his patients in Rancho Mirage, CA area.

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