How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Teeth?

A Look Into The Effect Of Hormones On Your Oral Health

Did you know that less than half of pregnant women have their teeth cleaned by a dentist during their pregnancy?

For some, pregnancy is such a busy time that it slips their mind. Others may be put off by myths about what is and isn’t safe during pregnancy. But pregnancy is actually one of the most crucial times to stay on top of your dental hygiene.

Does pregnancy affect teeth? Absolutely.

Everything from changing diet and hormones to morning sickness can affect your teeth during pregnancy. But there are many ways you can stay in control.

One of those is to be informed. Then, if you notice a change in your dental health during pregnancy, you’ll know what it means. Read on for our guide on how pregnancy affects teeth.

The Effect Of Hormones on Your Teeth

Why do teeth hurt during pregnancy?

Basically, the hormone changes in your body impact your gums. Specifically, estrogen and progesterone increase. This increases blood flow to the gums, making them more sensitive.

That can lead to further issues, like swelling and pain, as your gums are more vulnerable.

What Else Causes Your Teeth to Start Acting up?

On the other hand, other factors may affect your teeth during pregnancy. For example, morning sickness can put some off brushing their teeth or brushing too soon afterwards. Both of those can damage the teeth and gums.

The Signs Of Dental Problems During Pregnancy

Most pregnancy-related dental issues are noticeable. They include:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Cavities
  • Growths
  • Loose teeth
  • Toothaches

Look out for these symptoms during your pregnancy. Visit your dentist if you experience any.

What Can Happen to My Teeth During Pregnancy?

Sensitive teeth in pregnancy are more vulnerable to dental health conditions. They get infected more easily. They can even move around as your gums get softer.

Look out for these four specific conditions, so you know what the symptoms mean.

Shifting Teeth

As some hormones increase, they can weaken the tissue surrounding your teeth. Therefore your teeth may feel loose or shift around. Generally, this gets resolved after pregnancy as the tissue returns to normal.

Gingivitis

An estimated 60% or more of pregnant women get gingivitis during their pregnancy. This is because the gums are more vulnerable to infection. If left untreated, it can even be dangerous for the pregnancy.

Therefore, visit your dentist if you see any redness, swelling, or bleeding on your gums.

Gum Disease

Like gingivitis, hormones can increase the chances of gum disease. They make your teeth more susceptible to plaque, and gum disease follows. This also presents itself as swollen or bleeding gums.

Tooth Decay and Tooth Loss

The plaque buildup that causes gingivitis and gum disease can also lead to decay. The damage could start as a simple cavity but lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Losing teeth in pregnancy is a real risk if proper hygiene isn’t maintained.

How Can I Avoid Tooth Problems During Pregnancy?

The best way to avoid pregnancy-related dental issues is to visit your local dentist regularly. Tell your dentist you’re pregnant so they can give you the best care possible.

Besides that, make sure to maintain a good oral health routine. That includes brushing twice and flossing once each day. This can help to keep dental issues at bay.

Toothache and Miscarriage

Can pregnancy affect your teeth via a toothache? It’s possible, but it is actually more likely that an unrelated toothache affects your pregnancy.

If your toothache results from an infection, your body will try to fight the disease. In doing so, it releases pro-inflammatory mediators that can put the fetus at risk. At the same time, toxins causing the infection may also harm the fetus.

Therefore, infections like periodontal disease have been connected with miscarriages. If you’re experiencing any discomfort or toothache, visit your dentist immediately.

Other FAQs On Pregnancy and Teeth

Other than oral health, there are many myths about what you can and can’t do during pregnancy. Here are the facts.

Does Pregnancy Ruin Your Teeth?

As scary as all these conditions sound, pregnancy’s effect on teeth should be manageable and reversible. Make sure to keep visiting your dentist to stay on top of any issues. They can treat problems and conditions before they cause long-term damage.

Can I Do Teeth Cleaning During Pregnancy?

Yes, regular dental cleaning is essential for your dental health. It’s one of the best ways to keep on top of your oral hygiene.

Is Whitening Your Teeth Safe During Pregnancy?

Technically, teeth whitening procedure should be safe while pregnant. However, due to all of the changes in your dental health, it’s usually best to wait until after pregnancy.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, they are safe. The radiation is very low and won’t cause problems in a typical pregnancy. However, if you’re still concerned, talk it through with your dentist.

Will My Teeth Go Back to Normal After Pregnancy?

If you stay on top of your dental hygiene at home and keep regular dentist appointments, your teeth should survive pregnancy just fine. Even if a more permanent problem arises, your dentist can help you find the best solution.

How Can Your Dentist Help?

You don’t have to deal with pregnancy teeth alone. It’s always best to let your dentist know you’re pregnant and continue to visit regularly.

They will be able to spot the early warning signs of many conditions and help you get the proper treatment. This could include everything from antibiotics to small operations, depending on what is needed.

The Takeaway

So does pregnancy affect teeth? Yes, it can have all kinds of unexpected effects.

But with so much on your mind during pregnancy, your teeth are the last thing you want to be thinking about! That’s why it’s best to book an appointment with your dentist during your pregnancy so we can handle it. Let us relieve you of the worry.

Get in touch with us today to book an appointment. Or, if you have any more questions, call us so we can talk them through with you.