The saying that “one tooth will be lost for every pregnancy” may be just an old wives’ tale, but there is a definite link between pregnancy and teeth. This is not, as is commonly thought, because the baby draws calcium away from the mother, but because of the surge in hormones that affects a pregnant woman’s entire body. Read below to learn more about the effects of pregnancy on teeth.
When your body becomes pregnant, it surges with hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone. These hormones exaggerate the way gum tissues react to plaque, and can in some cases lead to what’s known as “pregnancy gingivitis”. As with regular gingivitis, gums affected by pregnancy gingivitis will be more red, swollen, tender, and likely to bleed than healthy gums. This common condition affects most pregnant woman at some point, and generally surfaces as early as the second month.
It is important to prevent periodontal disease during pregnancy, not only because it is detrimental to the mother’s health, but because the excess bacteria produced can enter the bloodstream through the gums and negatively impact the child. If you are pregnant, make sure that your teeth have been thoroughly, professionally cleaned, and that your risk of tooth decay is low.
Pregnant women are also at risk for developing oral pregnancy tumors, non-cancerous growths that develop when the gums are swollen and irritated. Despite their rather alarming name, oral pregnancy tumors can generally be left alone, as they will shrink after the baby’s birth. However, be sure to consult with a South Charlotte dentist before deciding to ignore the issue. If the tumor interferes with your chewing, brushing, or other oral care, it may need to be removed.
In general, you should plan a dental visit for each trimester of your pregnancy. This will allow your Charlotte dentist to monitor any changes in your teeth and gauge the effectiveness of your oral hygiene routine. Vitamin C and B12 supplements can help keep your oral cavity healthy and strong in between dental appointments.
Our South Charlotte dentists are excited to meet you! Dr. Emily Snapp and Dr. Summer Suttles look forward to helping you with your oral care through every step of your pregnancy. Click here to request an appointment, or feel free to call our dental office at 704.752.0500 to schedule your consultation.