From an expanding waistline to mood swings and more, a woman’s body undergoes dramatic changes during pregnancy, and the state of her oral health is not exempt. Below, we outline three of the most common problems that plague pregnant women, what causes them, and what you can do to fix them.
Gums appear redder, swollen, or bleed when brushed. Though temporary, these changes can occur as early as the second month of pregnancy and persist until after you give birth.
The Cause: The most likely culprits are increased hormone levels, which may enhance the growth of certain bacteria known to cause gingivitis, or a weakened immune system.
The Fix: You can reduce the effects by practicing good oral hygiene: brush twice a day, floss every day, and use an alcohol free antimicrobial rinse.
A wearing away of the enamel on the backs of the front teeth.
The Cause: Frequent vomiting due to severe morning sickness.
The Fix: This will go against your natural tendency but don’t brush right away. Rinse with a mixture of baking soda and water or commercial rinse designed to reduce the acid level of your mouth first.
A decrease in saliva produced by the salivary glands.
The Cause: Most often attributed to medication, dry mouth during early pregnancy may also be a result of the body storing water, which can create a feeling of dehydration. Pregnant women may also complain of cracked lips and a burning sensation in the mouth.
The Fix: Stay as hydrated as possible! Drink plenty of water, and you can stimulate saliva secretion by sucking on sugarless hard candies or gum containing xylitol, which can reduce the harmful bacteria that causes cavities.