Pregnant moms sacrifice a lot while caring for their growing unborn children. There’s the need to take prenatal vitamins, regular trips to their doctor, and the often-times intense lifestyle makeover to ensure the baby’s health. But while soon-to-be-moms get too excited about their little ones, they often forget to take extra care of their own health, especially when it comes to their oral health.
During pregnancy, many things happen to a women’s body. There’s the fact that your hormones get all over the place, which can impact many processes in the body. For one, higher levels of estrogen and progesterone can have an effect on your gums and teeth.
Dental Challenges While Pregnant
It is advisable that pregnant women consult their doctor before getting any dental procedures done. It helps if you have a trusted dental clinic like Metrodental to help you during this wonderful journey. This way, you can easily overcome the following dental challenges you may have to face while pregnant.
Changes in Eating Habits
Some pregnant women feel no urge to eat certain types of food. However, other pregnant women have food cravings. Some even tend to eat foods they don’t usually like and eat before they are pregnant.
The new food items you now love to munch on can impact your oral health. For example, some pregnant women love chewing on ice. While this can feel refreshing while battling your way through pregnancy, eating ice chips can damage your tooth.
Pregnancy pica, which is the unusual cravings for items that are not food, can indicate inadequate nutritional intake during pregnancy. While feeding the urge to eat non-nutritive substances may relieve your cravings, this can hurt your overall oral health. Of course, this is dependent on the items you are enticed to eat.
Increased Levels of Estrogen and Progesterone
Pregnant women have higher levels of estrogen and progesterone than non-pregnant women. This, however, can increase one’s risk for some oral health issues. One example of this is pregnancy gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a condition wherein the gums turn red, sore, and tender. Due to the elevated estrogen and progesterone, there is more blood flow to compensate for your growing fetus. This increased blood flow in the gums can lead to gingivitis, which is your gums being overly sensitive to irritation.
Did you know that some women lose some teeth while pregnant? Their hormones are to blame, while tissues and bones temporarily loosen during the nine months of pregnancy. This can lead to teeth loss in some women.
Know that visiting your dentist is proven safe, especially when you suspect gingivitis when pregnant. They can recommend specific procedures to reduce the symptoms and help you maintain good oral hygiene during these trying times. They can help control gingivitis and prevent further complications from arising.
Tendency to Slack on Oral Hygiene
Women carrying babies in their tummies will naturally feel more tired than usual. The extra load of your baby’s growing weight, your everyday routine, plus everything that pregnancy entails can quickly drain you of your energy. You can end up skipping flossing because you are too tired and sleepy to do so.
Some women skip brushing and flossing their teeth while pregnant because they feel nauseous when doing such activities. Your hypersensitive gag reflex is to blame during the nine months of carrying your unborn child. Thankfully, there are things you can do to avoid feeling nauseous when brushing and flossing your teeth.
For one, you can use a smaller and softer toothbrush. Use this later in the morning. It also helps if you concentrate on your breathing to avoid thinking about gagging while brushing teeth.
Preventing Dental Challenges While Pregnant
Know that proper oral hygiene is the best way to prevent oral issues while carrying your baby to full-term. This involves brushing at least twice a day, flossing regularly, and checking in with your dentist and doctor as regularly as possible. Maintain a healthy lifestyle as advised by your doctor. Limit your sweets and report any unusual cravings to your doctor. This is especially true if you are now craving non-nutritive substances.
Your dentist may prescribe safe medicines for pregnant women if you are in pain or discomfort or there is an infection. However, it makes sense to consult your doctor before taking them to be sure. You don’t want to end up drinking “safe” medicines when you have a special condition your doctor is concerned about.
Oral health matters, especially during pregnancy. Some challenges can ruin your oral health while you’re pregnant. However, know that there are ways you can maintain good oral health and your shiny pearly whites while waiting for your baby. Keep this list in mind, and don’t forget to live a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family.