- August 6, 2019
Pregnancy brings about all kinds of changes in your body. There are a lot of books and websites with useful information about what to expect when you’re expecting. Often there is little information about the surprising ways pregnancy can affect your teeth. Yet lots of women discover they have bad teeth after pregnancy. Here’s why.
Increased levels of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen that support the growth of the baby can also affect mood swings, hair thickness and the onset and severity of morning sickness. These hormones are also the cause of changes in your oral health.
There is evidence that pregnancy hormones affect how a woman’s body reacts to the plaque on her teeth. During pregnancy, the body’s progesterone levels may be 10 times higher than normal, enhancing the growth capabilities of bacteria that cause gingivitis. At the same time, the immune system is in overdrive to protect the baby and may react differently to how it combats oral bacteria.
Bad Teeth After Pregnancy Due To Gingivitis
Dentists refer to these conditions as “pregnancy gingivitis.” Effects of the condition usually start in the second trimester and tend to peak around the eighth month. Many women notice:
Gums may swell and appear red during pregnancy. Signs and symptoms include tenderness and bleeding after brushing.
Plaque buildup can cause damage to teeth that results in cavities that need attention from a Shorewood dentist. Of special concern is the possibility that the bacteria that cause cavities can be passed on to the baby during pregnancy.
Pregnancy hormones can cause the tissues and bones that keep teeth in place to temporarily loosen. Many women experience a shift in how teeth align in their mouths, which can be frustrating if they had orthodontics in their teen years.
Damage to Teeth
Vomiting as a result of morning sickness can cause teeth to be exposed to stomach acid that can harm the enamel of teeth.
These noncancerous tumors – also called pyogenic granuloma – are lumps that can form on gums. They are caused by an excess of plaque and appear as red, raw bulges that bleed easily. The tumors generally subside on their own after the birth of the baby.
Avoiding Getting Bad Teeth After Pregnancy
In order to avoid getting bad teeth after pregnancy, it’s important to maintain good oral health during your pregnancy. Make sure to maintain good oral habits such as brushing, flossing and using a mouthwash daily.
Keep up regular visits to Shorewood Family Dental Care (a dentist for all ages) every six months. Be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant so he or she can pay special attention to pregnancy-related conditions and provide insights into proper dental care as your baby develops.