Dental care is especially important during pregnancy. Let your dentist know you’re pregnant, so proper screening and treatment guidelines can be followed.
By Krisha McCoy
Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH
Carrying a child affects your entire body — and that goes for your mouth, too.
Since your teeth and gums can be affected by the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, you’ll need to pay special attention to your dental health when you’re pregnant.
In addition, there are a few extra safety measures you will need to be sure are followed when going to the dentist. Here’s how to stay on top of your dental care when you’re expecting.
How Pregnancy Affects Your Dental Health
Problems that women may experience with their teeth and mouth during pregnancy include:
AS Patient Stories
Pregnancy gingivitis. Increased levels of the hormone progesterone can result in gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. This, along with pregnancy-related changes in your immune system, can cause your gums to become red and swollen, and you may experience bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis usually go away after the baby is born.
Periodontal disease. Some pregnant women experience a more serious dental condition, called periodontal, or gum disease. Periodontal disease occurs when a bacterial infection develops in pockets below the gum line, which can damage the fibers that hold your teeth in place. Periodontal disease can also affect the health of the baby, since women with periodontal disease are at higher risk of having babies early and with lower birth weights.
Pregnancy granuloma. A pregnancy granuloma is a red growth that usually appears along the upper line of your gums. This nodular growth bleeds easily and sometimes crusts over. While these growths are not dangerous, they can be uncomfortable and affect the way you speak and eat. Pregnancy granulomas usually occur in the second trimester and affect 2 to 10 percent of pregnant women. They usually go away after the baby is born.
Dry mouth. Many pregnant women experience dryness in their mouth caused by a decrease in saliva, which can be brought on by hormonal changes. Dry mouth can increase the risk of many dental problems. Chewing sugarless gum can help.
Erosion of tooth enamel. Vomiting due to morning sickness can lead to erosion of the enamel on the back of your front teeth. This is more likely to occur with frequent vomiting over a long period of time.
Dental Care During Pregnancy
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