Understanding Dental Health During Pregnancy

There are so many things to think about when it comes to the health of you and your baby, and your dental health should be no exception. As your body changes over the next nine months, the various pregnancy symptoms you experience can affect your teeth. Here are a few common symptoms and the positive or negative impacts they can have on the health of your teeth.

Change in Hormones

This is one unavoidable symptom that every pregnant woman will go through. When we think of hormonal changes, we think of mood swings or hot flashes, but some side effects that are less common are gum disease and loosening of teeth due to higher levels of progesterone and estrogen.

Morning Sickness

For some women, morning sickness is a major symptom of pregnancy. Along with the nausea comes additional acid that, if left in your mouth, can corrode your teeth and cause tooth decay. Be sure to brush your teeth after each episode to keep this acid level under control. You can also rinse your mouth with a mixture of water and baking soda to neutralize the acid left in your mouth.

Excess Saliva

Another symptom of pregnancy that can affect your oral health is excessive saliva. As unappealing as this may sound to you right now, it's actually very beneficial for your teeth. Saliva helps reduce tooth decay by neutralizing acids in your mouth; it also slows down the growth of plaque and reduces the risk of gum disease. So just by being pregnant, you can improve the health of your teeth and gums without lifting a finger.

No matter what symptoms you have during pregnancy, you should always take care of your teeth with good habits that include regular flossing and brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush to ensure you maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout your pregnancy. Learn more about prenatal care and dental health in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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Common Conditions During PREGNANCY

To help minimize any risks during pregnancy, here is some general advice and some common conditions to be on the lookout for:

  1. Gum disease – during pregnancy, teeth and gums need special attention. Regular tooth brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, eating a balanced diet and visiting the dentist regularly will help reduce dental problems that accompany pregnancy.

  2. Enamel erosion – for some women, morning sickness is a major symptom of pregnancy. Along with the nausea comes additional acid that, if left in your mouth, can erode your teeth. Be sure to rinse your mouth out with water or with a fluoride mouthwash to keep the acid level under control.

  3. Dry mouth – pregnancy dry mouth can put women at a greater risk for problems such as tooth decay and infections. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and chew sugarless gum to enhance production of saliva.

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