Pregnant women are more likely to suffer from dental problems: here’s why


It has been seen that for some reason pregnant women have an increased chance of developing dental decay compared to non-pregnant women. Is this true? If yes, then what are the causes and what are the ways to minimize this concern?

The annual meeting of International Association for Dental Research (IDAR) 2017 pondered over the findings two studies related to this issue. Here is what was discovered.

A Finnish research and a study conducted by University of Hong Kong studied the difference of oral health in non-pregnant women and pregnant women in their first trimester to mid trimester. It was discovered that gingival inflammation as well as tooth decay was more prominent among pregnant ladies. Researchers concluded that this was because of various differing factors including care of dental hygiene. It was also deduced that this may be the reason for nausea as an early sign of pregnancy.

Studies showed that tooth decay as well as gingival bleeding are the root problems that can take place among pregnant women. Studies were also made to see if there was any difference between the health behavior of non-pregnant and pregnant women.

Researchers recruited Caucasian women between the ages of 29-34 out of whom 29 were pregnant women in their 1st trimester and 24 were non-pregnant women. Studies were done as per dental history and oral hygiene of the women.

It was seen that women who were pregnant had significantly more tooth damage and decay. They had more plaque issues, more caries lesions and higher chances of bleeding gums when probed. They were also less interested in cleaning interdentals every day.

But on the other hand, there wasn’t any clear difference between dental habits like brushing, dental checkups or exams, missed tooth or filings, initial caries lesions or salivary flow rates.

The research conducted by University of Hong Kong performed their studies on 589 pregnant women. When the participants were asked about knowledge and knowhow of dental care or problems, as well as periodontal diseases, they seemed to be just as clear about their ideas as any other person. The participating women were also given a questionnaire on dental hygiene, their socioeconomic backgrounds and dental attendance patterns.

The answers showed that brushing daily, twice a day was practiced by 84.2% of the participants. 46.9% women took their dental care seriously and two-thirds of the women were particular about their extra oral hygiene care. Approximately 76.9%, about 450 participants stated that they were facing oral health issues in their pregnancy. Here are all the problems they were going through:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Bad breath issues
  • Teeth that were sensitive to cold and hot

It was deduced from the study that all dental issues took place from the start to mid of the pregnancy. But it was also observed that women who paid regular visits to the dentists and kept a positive outlook were not too bothered by the periodontal health concerns. Hence it becomes important to remember that the more careful pregnant women are, they less likely they were to suffer.

April 4, 2017

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