Impact of Pregnancy on Oral Health

Impact of Pregnancy on Oral Health

Pregnancy is one of the most important phases of a woman's life. However, it can have adverse effects on your oral health. A woman's body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy. The hormonal changes, which occur during pregnancy, increase the risk of dental problems. The increased hormone levels cause an increase in the flow of blood to the gum tissue. This leads to swelling and tenderness of the gum tissue, a condition called pregnancy gingivitis.

Morning Sickness

During pregnancy, some women experience morning sickness. This can cause nausea and vomiting that can last all day. The acid in vomit is strong enough to eat away at tooth enamel, causing painful and unsightly cavities. If you experience morning sickness, be sure to rinse your mouth with water after you vomit to wash away some of the acids. You should wait an hour before brushing your teeth after vomiting as well.

Also, try to eat bland foods that won't irritate the already sensitive stomach lining. Some women also find relief by taking vitamin B6 supplements. Vitamin B6 is a natural antidote to the acidity of stomach acid. It can also help to alleviate nausea associated with morning sickness. You can find vitamin B6 in the prenatal vitamins you may already be taking. If you're experiencing extreme morning sickness, however, it's best to consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications or natural remedies.

Dental Treatment During Pregnancy

There are a variety of dental treatments your provider may recommend during your pregnancy, but it's important to first understand what the best ways are to keep your mouth and body healthy during pregnancy.

The best way to avoid cavities and gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time with fluoride toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance and flossing once a day. This will help remove plaque from the teeth and keep them clean.

Your oral health should be monitored by your dentist throughout your pregnancy. If you have any of the below conditions, make an appointment with your dental office right away:

  • Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup that irritates and inflames gum tissues leading to redness, tenderness, bleeding, and infection. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. Make sure you brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for regular cleanings.
  • Tooth decay is caused by plaque buildup that develops into cavities. It's imperative to avoid sugary foods and drinks and cut down on snacking between meals to help reduce the risk of getting cavities.
  • Gingivitis is caused when gingivitis isn't treated properly or at all. This is a mild form of gum disease that can cause your gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. When caught early, it can be treated before progressing into the more advanced stage of the disease.
  • Dry mouth issues are caused by the hormonal changes that occur in the body during pregnancy. Saliva helps wash away bacteria in the mouth and aids in lubricating the mouth so food can be chewed and swallowed with ease. If not treated, this can lead to tooth decay and bad breath. Ask your dentist about using a dry mouth rinse if you suffer from this issue.

Roshan Emam, D.D.S., located in Palo Alto, CA, is equipped with the best dentists and modern technologies that enable the best dental care treatments for patients. Call us at (650) 321-0340 and schedule an appointment with the dentist to learn more.


850 Middlefield Rd. Suite 8,
Palo Alto, CA 94301

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