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Dental issues during pregnancy

by Nikki Montgomery

Friday I had a dental appointment, just a regular cleaning. Anyone who knows me knows that one thing I take very seriously is dental care. Especially during pregnancy because there are so many common dental issues that women have during pregnancy. 

Tooth decay is a real problem for women who have trouble with morning sickness. The acid from vomiting can cause your teeth to decay. But in general during pregnancy you have more acid in your mouth that can cause this too.

Loose teeth can be a problem caused by increased progesterone affecting the ligaments and bones.

Gum disease is the most common problem affecting pregnant women. Hormonal changes can cause gingivitis and that can lead to preterm birth if left untreated.

My dental appointment went really well. My hygienist and dentist were both very happy with the condition of my gums. I've been through this before so my dentist gave me some tips when I was pregnant with Mia. He told me to brush with a soft bristle toothbrush and massage my gums, floss daily, and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. 

Some women who have morning sickness have a hard time with the strong minty flavor of toothpaste so the suggestion for that is to use a child's toothpaste with a mild flavor. It doesn't have all the fancy whitening power or be the powerful breath freshener that an adult toothpaste would be, but at least it's cleaning your teeth. Another tip for women with frequent morning sickness; rinse with a baking soda and water solution (1 teaspoon baking soda to one cup water) this will help cut down the acidity in your mouth to prevent tooth decay.

During pregnancy it's important to see your dentist, but the best time to do so is the second trimester. In the first trimester and late in the third a visit to your dentist isn't best for your baby. All dental procedures should be postponed until after baby is born. It is important to let your dentist know that you are pregnant so they know what they should and shouldn't do, like x-rays. 

If you have any dental concerns during your pregnancy talk to your dentist or ask your regular doctor.

Dental health can affect the health of your baby so you need to make your ob/gyn know if you are having any issues.

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