Pregnancy has a woman go through innumerable bodily changes.
During the course of the 9-month period, fluctuating levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone make the pregnant woman’s teeth and gums susceptible to sensitivity and a host of bacteria.
Changes in Dental Health during Pregnancy
The intensity at which teeth and gums are affected during pregnancy is different for every woman. But at the base of it, here are changes you can expect your teeth and gums to go through:
1. As is widely known, changes in eating habits are common during pregnancy. Food cravings can be unpredictable. These unusual eating habits, in turn, affect oral health.
2. A pregnant body may not be able to fight off plaque with ease. Sensitivity in gums and teeth can lead to slight bleeding as well.
3. Toothache, tooth decay, although uncommon, can be a result of pregnancy.
4. Around the 5th month, swelling on gums causes an increase in plaque.
How to Maintain Dental Hygiene during Pregnancy
Apart from general oral hygiene, there are a few measures you can take to minimize the effect of pregnancy on your dental health:
1. Regular dental check-ups are of key importance. Make sure you tell your dentist that you’re pregnant or are trying to conceive so that you are given medicines safe for you and your baby.
2. You can ask your dentist to prescribe a mouthwash to help you deal with the issue of plaque formation. Rinsing once every day can do wonders to help keep your mouth clean.
3. You may find brushing and flossing painful. Switch to an extra soft-bristled toothbrush and clean your teeth and gums gently in slow, easy motions.
4. For women dealing with morning sicknesses, rinse your mouth with baking soda and water. This helps your stomach acids to avoid attacking your teeth and induce decay.
Three trimesters, each with its own set of complications bring enough discomfort to a woman. Hence, gorging on food she craves without any guilt is essential, given that the basic steps are taken to ensure her dental hygiene is not compromised. After all, it all comes down to ensure the best health for the mother and the baby.
Special thanks to Ganpat Sawant, MBBS, MD – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, DGO, FCPS – General Surgery, DNB – Obstetrics & Gynecology, Gynecologist, Obstetrician, Infertility Specialist, Laparoscopic Surgeon (Obs & Gyn) for the expert advice.