Oral Health During Pregnancy
Written by Charlie Rice, The Holistic Hygienist
Pregnancy can significantly impact a mother’s oral health due to the rapid increase in hormonal activity. During this time, our bodies go through many changes and some of these changes occur orally. If you’re pregnant it is really important to understand the oral manifestations that may occur during your pregnancy journey, so you are equipped with the knowledge and power to sustain optimum oral health and overall health and to seek professional advice when required.
Pregnancy Gingivitis is the most common pregnancy oral manifestation. It is a reversible gum disease and an overzealous inflammatory response or host response to the bacteria aka plaque/biofilm being left on the teeth due to inadequate mechanical removal at home, an increase of hormones and lowered immune defence.
Research has also found a link between periodontal disease in pregnant women and premature birth with low birth weight and preeclampsia. Periodontal pathogens have the ability to pass the placental wall causing adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Pregnancy granulomas / tumours are benign overgrowths of tissue made up of blood vessels. Pregnancy granulomas are the host response to the bacteria (poor oral hygiene) and is an overzealous reaction caused by the fluctuating hormones. On average they may grow from 5-10mm in diameter and affect 5% of pregnant women. Pregnancy granulomas usually resolve after pregnancy but in severe cases can be removed. Granulomas may bleed easily and cause tenderness.
Can directly impact the teeth during pregnancy when the mother suffers from severe or constant acid reflux and or vomiting. This can weaken the tooth enamel and overtime cause the teeth to erode.
The risk of developing decay during pregnancy increases especially throughout the first trimester as it is common for women to feel nauseous, fatigued, suffer from gastric reflux, have unusual cravings (increase in fermentable carbohydrates/sugar) and frequent snacking compromising your oral health.
Did you know?
Your baby's teeth will start to develop in the womb starting from six weeks! During this time, it’s important for the mother to take care of her health by eating nourishing wholesome foods, taking supplements when required, staying hydrated with plenty of water and resting.