3 Oral Health Concerns That Come With Pregnancy

When you become pregnant, your whole life changes. It is an exciting period in your life that is full of new challenges and hopes. Taking care of your body must be a high priority; being in good health means that your baby can develop with minimal risk of complications. During pregnancy, you should still focus on making sure that your mouth is healthy. Your oral health is reflective of your overall health, and as your body changes during pregnancy, your oral tissues can become affected. Working with your dentist is key. Here are three oral health concerns that come with pregnancy.

Your teeth may move and become loose.

Your body changes rapidly during pregnancy in order to accommodate your growing baby. Your body releases hormones to relax and increase the flexibility of your ligaments to help ease your body as it grows to support your baby. Heightened levels of progesterone and estrogen are responsible for loosening the ligaments, and those in your gums that support your teeth can become affected. This leads to the possibility of your teeth shifting and becoming crooked. After you give birth, your hormones stabilize and your teeth will no longer be mobile; however, the end result might be crooked teeth. Talk with your dentist about a plan for monitoring and correcting the position of your teeth during and after pregnancy. This could include wearing a retainer during gestation or getting Invisalign or braces after your baby is born.

During pregnancy, your risk of gingivitis soars.

Between 60 and 70% of pregnant women develop gingivitis. This form of gum disease manifests in the form of angry, swollen gums that are sensitive to touch and may bleed upon contact. Your gums become puffy and red and may sag around your teeth. Gingivitis develops when tooth decaying plaque accumulates between your teeth and gums. This increases your risk of developing cavities. Make certain that you keep up your oral hygiene routine. You can help keep your mouth cleaner by drinking a glass of water after every meal or snack; this helps to wash away leftover food particles that bond with bacteria to form plaque. If you experience discomfort flossing your teeth, you can use oral irrigation as a gentle alternative to give your gums a break.

You may experience unpleasant dry mouth.

It is very common to experience dry mouth during pregnancy. With dry mouth, you can expect to have difficulty chewing and swallowing certain foods and have a higher incidence of bad breath due to bacteria collecting on your tongue and oral tissues. Without saliva to wash away harmful bacteria, this increases your risk of developing an oral infection. To combat dry mouth, make sure that you drink plenty of water. You can also stimulate saliva production by chewing sugar-free gum or eating crunchy fruits and vegetables such as pears and carrots. For more information, talk to a dentist like Hurst Family Dental.