Thoughts From The Therapist - Pregnancy And Oral Health
Hormone changes occur during pregnancy and it can have effects on your oral health, which are usually noticed around the two month mark.
Reducing Decay Causing Bacteria in Babies
When babies are born, their mouths are "sterile" from decay causing bacteria. Because these bacteria are transmitted from their parents, expectant parents are encouraged to visit a dentist before the birth of their children to ensure they have good oral hygiene and untreated decays restored. These reduce decay causing bacteria in their mouths.
Pregnancy gum disease
Hormone changes can cause gums to bleed easier, which is a sign of gum disease. Though it is often temporary, gum disease can cause permanent damage to your jaw bone and gum level. Making sure that if you have an impeccable oral health routine and keeping up with regular dental visits minimise pregnant women having gum disease.
Some other effects of hormone changes
- Pregnancy tumours (pyogenic granulomas) are harmless red lumpy lesions that appear along the gum line and between the teeth. They will resolve on their own after pregnancy.
- Food craving can increase sugary food intake, try to choose healthier alternatives, such as fruit, cheese, milk, Greek yoghurt
- Morning sickness acid can cause erosions on teeth, refrain from brushing your teeth within two hours of vomiting. Brushing too early can cause permanent damage to your tooth surface. Instead of brushing, rinse your mouth with baking soda rinse (1/4 teaspoon of baking mixed with warm water)
- The change in hormone can cause dry mouth (head over to the topic Dry Mouth to find out more).
Due to the effects of hormone changes, expecting mother should make regular visits to your dentist in the lead-up to, during and after your pregnancy.