Fixing the dilemmas of oral health during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a hormonal rush period. This induces various changes in the body, especially in the mouth.

-By Dr Alizey Shahid

Pregnant women are often excited during this period. However, at the same time, they are stressed out. Thus, dentists recommend practising good oral hygiene as vulnerability increases with escalating hormone levels.

The struggle during pregnancy

However, many females struggle with a range of dilemmas during pregnancy. This includes the following problems:

How do my habits affect my teeth?

There are many associated risks identified among pregnant women with poor oral hygiene. This includes premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, and gestational diabetes. Ignoring proper brushing twice a day without fluoride toothpaste has its impact. It can enhance plaque buildup and bacterial retention under the influence of hormones. As a result gum swelling and bleeding can arise.

Why am I suffering from bleeding gums despite proper brushing?

During pregnancy, the hormone levels alter continuously. This influences the mood, emotions, body and gums. More than half of pregnant women face a mild form of gingivitis. This eventually leads to bleeding gums despite proper oral hygiene. Thus, no need for panic as these problems resolve after childbirth and continue to brush twice a day.

Does morning sickness cause dental problems?

Morning sickness is a significant cause of worn-off teeth due to stomach acids reflux. Many females sought to brush immediately after vomiting, which escalates the tooth wear of the softened enamel. Thus, it is advised to rinse your mouth after vomiting.

Should we visit a dentist during pregnancy?

The best period for pregnant women to visit a dentist is during the second trimester and early third trimester. This can help control bleeding gums and other aggravating dental problems. However, it is essential to notify the doctor about your pregnancy to avoid heavy medication prescriptions and unprotected X-ray exposure.

Does Tooth brushing induce gags?

Many females stop brushing due to the exaggerated gag reflex during the pregnancy. Therefore, they are recommended to use a small head brush with an oral rinse to prevent acid erosions and cavity risk.

How my diet affects the baby’s teeth?

During the third to sixth month of pregnancy, the baby’s teeth are forming. Hence, doctors advise females to intake good nutrition, including vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium, phosphorous, folic acid, and fluoride. This would prevent any neural defects in the baby and keep the teeth healthy as well.

Will I lose teeth during pregnancy?

Losing a tooth during pregnancy is not real but a misconception. However, in the case of a damaged tooth, it is a possibility. Many females might feel the tooth’s loosening; this is mainly due to the high progesterone and estrogen in periodontal ligaments and bone. Nevertheless, the problems resolve soon after childbirth.

What procedures are safe during pregnancy?

Dentists can safely carry out fillings and crown placements in the second trimester to prevent infections. However, cosmetic procedures such as tooth whitening should be avoided as prolong visits are uncomfortable for pregnant women

The author is contributing writer at Dental News Pakistan and can be reached at

March 1, 2021

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