Even though we live in a modern world with all benefits of science in many different areas: from medicine, technology to space science and many others, many people still have doubts and dilemmas regarding their health. Pregnancy is special for every young couple. It turns their world upside-down. Thus it’s understandable since that future parents are afraid and more susceptible to become suspicious about all their knowledge regard health.
There is common belief that each pregnancy leads to at least lost of one tooth. The main reason for this is another mislead: calcium from future mom is used for integration in baby’s bones. This myth called “Tooth lost during pregnancy” is frequently used as an excuse for bad oral hygiene.
So, what we can do to help our teeth and gums stay healthy and beautiful during this period?
There are definitely changes in oral status among pregnant women. What is new is that hormonal disbalance is present and it affects gums. Consequently, the blood flow in gums is changed and with a dental plaque, that is normally present in every person regardless is she pregnant or not, there is a greater chance for development of gingivitis. This condition is presented with swollen gums that are red and prone to bleeding during teeth brushing and flossing. Beside that, in pregnancy, there is an increased number of bacteria called Prevotella intermedia that are responsible for the development of gingivitis. When a woman with recently healthy, non-bleeding gums get affected with gingivitis it is absolutely normal that she experience the fear of bleeding, so she starts avoiding teeth brushing. This, of course, leads to worsening of present symptoms.
What can we do?
– proper oral care is crucial! If we avoid brushing properly the symptoms get worse with more inflamed gums that will bleed and hurt more. The main cause of this infection is dental plaque that stays on teeth becoming harder to remove since the gums get more swollen
– brush your teeth at least twice a day
– use soft brushes
– use dental floss or interdental brushes
– use dental liquids with fluorides and avoid liquids with chlorhexidine
Visit your dentist
Many women in a period of pregnancy avoid dental appointments thinking it is not so important to take care of their oral health during pregnancy, but most importantly many of them believe that dental interventions are contraindicated in this period and may hurt the baby in some way. The fear, that is usually unfounded, of anesthesia, potential antibiotics or radiography is the main reason for avoiding dental check-ups in pregnancy.
What can we do?
– Definitely, the best option is that we have regular check-ups even before planning a pregnancy. That way we can be sure that the future mother has healthy teeth and gums. This way the need for potential dental interventions is minimalized and periodic check-ups are just prevention.
– Even if your dentist notices any problem with your oral health during your pregnancy it all can be fixed in a way that both mother and baby stay safe. By making an individual plan for each patient, your dentist will diagnose any problem and discuss the best and the safest way to deal with it and not jeopardize yours or your’s baby health.
– It is important to know that bacterias that causing caries and gingivitis can be transferred to your baby after birth. By visiting your dentist during the period of pregnancy not only you protect your health and your baby’s health, but you can get useful information and instructions for oral health for you and your baby.
Frequent vomiting during pregnancy
Emesis gravidarum or vomiting in a period of pregnancy is usually present in the morning during the first couple of months of pregnancy. This way, teeth get often in contact with strong stomach acid that can damage superficial layer of teeth known as enamel. Acid can literally dissolve enamel and make teeth sensitive to hot or cold drinks or food and even more prone to caries. After vomiting, people usually brush their teeth right away. Since the teeth are damaged by stomach acid, brushing teeth can only make it worse by making greater damage to teeth caused by a mechanical destruction of previously chemically damaged teeth.
What can we do?
– Make sure to brush your teeth right after you wake up and before vomiting. It is important not to brush your teeth right after vomiting. Instead, make the solution of water and Sodium bicarbonate (dissolve one coffee spoon of Sodium bicarbonate in 2 liters of water) and wash out your mouth.
– Make sure you use a soft brush and that you brush all of your teeth equally.
– If your vomiting is more frequent than 3 times per day make an appointment with your physiatrics for a consult.
It is common misbelief that “Future mom should eat for two persons”. Frequent food intake can be related to teeth loss caused by a greater amount of caries lesions that can not be fixed by conservative or endodontic treatment, especially when it’s associated with poor oral hygiene and without control of dentist. Types of food that are consumed during the pregnancy are of great importance for mother’s general health so as for baby’s health and proper development.
What can we do?
– Consume enough water during the day. Avoid sodas with sugar, fast food, snacks, and candies.
– The balanced diet is the most appropriate. Higher amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, milk, cheese, eggs, chicken breasts, and fish should be your first choice.
– Consult your gynecologist regard additional intake of Folinic acid since it’s deficiency can lead to malformation of baby’s upper lip and palate.
Stress in all conditions and ages has a negative influence on the entire body. It can affect endocrine glands and that way regulate hormones in our body. As a result, the salivation in our mouth can be reduced due to stress. Lack of saliva affects oral bacterial flora in the way that it stimulates their growth. On the other hand, saliva contains many significant components that help us to reduce infections and inflammation in our mouth but also mechanically washes away dental plaque.
With right knowledge of oral health and with regular visits to your dentist there should be no problem with your’s and your baby’s teeth during pregnancy so as after the birth. When you are well informed during regular check-ups your teeth should be healthy before you get pregnant and you can easily keep this status during pregnancy. So, don’t believe the myths. You hold the key to your life’s happiness and health. Use it wise.