The effects of pregnancy on oral health

by Dr. Thomas C. Lee

Experiencing pregnancy has an affect on your lifestyle in a major way, and causes changes to everything from diet to health. It’s overlooked that pregnancy also affects the oral health of a woman. During pregnancy it’s important for expecting mothers to maintain their oral health for the sake of their growing baby and their own health.

The effects of pregnancy on oral health

Pregnancy may make you more susceptible to dental problems

Pregnant women can develop gingivitis during pregnancy, and about 40% of woman develop some early stage gingivitis during pregnancy as result of elevated hormones which cause greater sensitivity to dental plaque.

Acidic saliva

Morning sickness affects many expecting mothers, and vomiting is a common symptom of this. The acidic content contained in vomit can damage tooth enamel and create sensitivity and cause decay. To help reduce these effects, it’s important to brush thoroughly after vomiting and rinsing with a mixture of baking soda and water.

Visit your dentist during pregnancy

If you are planning a pregnancy, visiting your dentist before getting pregnant provides an opportunity to address any dental problems that could be exacerbated during pregnancy. For example, if you have a cavity, the elevated acid content in your saliva could cause that cavity to advance faster and eat away at the tooth.


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Keeping your oral health a priority

The takeaway from these insights is that it’s important to prioritize your oral health at all times, and especially during experiences that leave you susceptible to dental problems. As with orthodontics, dental care is less expensive, easier, and faster, when preventative maintenance is performed and problems are addressed as soon as they develop.