For many women, having a baby is one of the most overwhelming experiences in their lives. During the usual 9 months of pregnancy, a woman's body goes through an enormously long list of changes. Some of these changes negatively affect oral health. If you're pregnant, you may encounter the following 2 dental problems before the delivery of your child.
During pregnancy, women produce higher levels of the hormone progesterone. Elevated levels of this hormone can cause an increase in the growth of bacteria in your mouth. Progesterone can also cause your gums to be more susceptible to plaque. Plaque is hardened food particles that develop in your mouth over time. Due to these factors, pregnant women face an increased risk of developing gingivitis.
Actually, an astounding 40 percent of pregnant females get gingivitis while carrying their babies. The symptoms of this type of gum disease include:
Gums that bleed
Gums that appear red instead of pink
In addition to suffering these discomforting symptoms, pregnant women who have gingivitis are more likely to deliver underweight premature babies. Because of the dangers of untreated gingivitis, pregnant women should visit their trusted dentist regularly. During an exam, your dentist can determine if you have gingivitis. A dental professional often treats this type of gum disease by cleaning your teeth and prescribing a medicated mouthwash for your use.
Besides gingivitis, pregnant women sometimes develop sensitive teeth. Your teeth might become painful even if you've never experienced any dental problems in the past. A couple of culprits to blame for this phenomena include:
Elevated hormones – As previously mentioned, pregnancy causes you to increase your output of the hormone progesterone. Besides progesterone, you also produce more estrogen during pregnancy. When these 2 hormones are elevated, your blood flows more rapidly to all parts of your body including your mouth. This reality of pregnancy can eventually cause swollen gums, inflamed gums, and painful teeth.
Food cravings – During pregnancy, many women develop cravings for certain types of food. For instance, you might have an increased desire to eat acidic foods like lemons, cold foods such as ice cream, or sweet foods like donuts. When these types of foods are consumed in large quantities, they can cause tooth sensitivity.
If your teeth become painful during pregnancy, you need to switch your medium or hard toothbrush to a soft one. If your teeth aren't sensitive to cold items, you might want to rub ice on the particularly painful areas of your mouth. This practice relieves pain for some people.
During pregnancy, you may face many challenges. Besides the expected weight gain and fatigue, you might encounter the aforementioned 2 dental conditions. To learn more about these oral health concerns associated with pregnancy, make an appointment with your trusted dentist today.